Bloomberg Line — Neymar or Vinicius Jr.? It is expected that the duo will take the Brazilian team to the sixth in the Qatar World Cup, but in a private dispute, the Real Madrid striker has an advantage over the PSG ace: the most valuable player among those who were born and came. of clubs in South America. They illustrate a phenomenon already known, but whose figures have just been updated, of the unparalleled presence in the world of stars from countries on the continent in the five main European football leagues.
Players from this part of the world dominate the European continent thanks to the performance of more than 200 players who play in the British Premier League, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1.
Brazilians account for the largest proportion, with 92 of the 218 South American players registered before July 18 in the top five leagues, according to a report by Football Benchmark.
The analysis took into account transfers already announced during the summer, such as the arrival of striker Raphinha to Barcelona from Leeds United, and stopped considering players who have dual nationality and played for a team other than South America.
Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia follow Brazil in the ranking, while Bolivia does not have a single representative player in the main European leagues.
The Brazilian power is not only noticeable in the number of players, but also in the market value they bring. Of the 10 highest-rated South American soccer players, six regularly wear “the yellow-green”. Striker Vinícius Júnior, 22, recently won the Champions League with Real Madrid and valued at US$138 million, tops this list.
“The financial disparity between European clubs and the rest of the world perpetuates a ‘brain drain’ system whereby many players move to Europe at a very young age and spend the best years of their careers there,” according to the report. Football Benchmark.
The largest number of South American football players is in the Spanish La Liga, with a total of 70 players, although the Premier League has the highest market value. In total, the 218 soccer players have a combined valuation of $3.759 billion.
Regarding the number of players, “the Premier League occupies the second place, slightly surpassing Serie A [italiana]. Importantly, the total value of South American players is by far the highest in the English top flight, which indicates that many highly valued South American stars end up playing there during their prime years,” the report adds.
According to Football Benchmark accounts, eight Premier League teams have at least one South American player valued at more than $30.6 million. Colombian striker Luis Díaz stands out, with a value of US$ 88.1 million, and Uruguayan Darwin Núñez, with US$ 83 million.
Both are forwards who play for Liverpool and have left the two main Portuguese clubs: Díaz left Porto at the beginning of the year, and Nuñez has just been transferred from Benfica.
The report also analyzed which clubs South American players add the most market value to. Real Madrid (with the presence of the Brazilians Vinícius, Rodrygo, Éder Militão, Casemiro and Reinier and the Uruguayan Federico Valverde) boast US$ 410 million in market value thanks to these players, which represents 41.2% of the total capitalization of the team.
Liverpool follow, with 308 million dollars, and Tottenham Hotspur, with 290 million dollars, the latter thanks to the signing of Brazilian striker Richarlison, who came from Everton and is valued at more than 60 million dollars.
Interestingly, Real Madrid’s six South American players are worth almost twice as much as Paris Saint-Germain FC’s six players (including Neymar and Messi).
Age is one of the main factors here (and therefore possible resale value), as the average age of the six PSG players is 30 years old, while that of Real is just 23.5 years old, the report highlights. . Neymar is 30 years old; Messi, with 35.
In addition to the big names, South American soccer players also stand out in other teams. For example, 47.2% of the value of the Spanish Elche squad comes from players from this region, a similar proportion to that also seen in Udinese (33.7%) and Cádiz (31.7%).
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