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World’s Five Highest Paid Football Players Lost $173M in Market Value, Messi Tops with a $66M Drop

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Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristia

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on the entire football eco-system, causing considerable drops in clubs’ revenues and their players’ market value.

According to data presented by SafeBettingSites.com, the combined market value of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Mohamed Salah, as the world’s five highest-paid football players, plunged by $173 million in the last year.

Messi Lost $66M in Market Value, more than Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo Combined

The Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi backs up his talent with the highest earnings. The famous right-winger, who is considered by many to be the greatest player on the planet, tops Forbes’ list of the highest-paid football players. Messi makes an annual salary of $126 million at the Nou Camp, although his contract expires at the end of the 2020/21 campaign.

However, the world’s highest-paid football player also witnessed the biggest drop in market value in 2020. The TransferMarkt data show his valuation plunged from $154 million in December 2019 to $88 million in January 2021. Statistics also indicate Messi’s market value has constantly been falling since May 2018, when it peaked at €180 million.

The Portuguese superstar and the most popular athlete on the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo, is the second highest-paid football player globally. His Juventus contract brings him an annual salary of $117 million, $9 million less than Messi.

However, the Juventus forward also witnessed a substantial market value drop last year, with the figure going down from $82.5 million in December 2019 to $66 million in December 2020.

Neymar set a world-record with his $263 million transfer to PSG from Barcelona in 2017. With an annual salary of $96 million, the Brazilian footballer ranked third on the Forbes list. However, the TransferMarkt data show his market value plunged by $35.2 million in 2020, the second-largest drop among the top five players. In December 2019, the 21-year-old was valued at $176 million. This figure slumped to $140.8 million in October last year.

Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah Lost $55M in Combined Market Value

The next generation leader, Kylian Mbappe confirmed his place among the best players on the planet by scoring four times as France won the 2018 World Cup. His $215 million worth transfer from Monaco to Paris Saint Germain in 2018, which made him the sports’ highest-paid teenager, remains the second most expensive in history.

The 22-year-old, who ranked fourth on the Forbes list, makes $42 million per season. However, his market value dropped by $22 million last year.

As the fifth football player on this list, Mohamed Salah made $37 million last season after leading Liverpool to its first Premier League title in 30 years. Although the Egyptian footballer has the highest win rate of any league player to have appeared in more than 100 matches, his market value also dropped significantly last year. In December 2019, Salah was valued at $165 million. In the next ten months, this figure fell to $132 million.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Sport Business

El Clásico Live on StarTimes This Saturday

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La Liga’s El Clásico on Saturday promises to be a significant game in the title race. Messi’s Barça go into the clash just a point off the top spot, and two points ahead of a Real Madrid that just beat Liverpool in the Champions League.

Saturday’s match is no doubt the highlight of the weekend’s global football calendar and fans will miss none of the action as the game will be televised live and in HD on the StarTimes’ Sport Premium channel at 8 pm, as Africa’s leading digital-TV operator broadcasts La Liga matches throughout the continent as well as Bundesliga, UEFA Europa League, FA Cup and the coming UEFA Euro 2020.

Saturday’s home side, Real Madrid have a slight advantage in the statistics, having won 74 of the 181 previous matches, while Barcelona won 72, with 35 ending in a draw.

Due to COVID regulations, the match will be played in the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium, which normally hosts games of the Real Madrid reserve side that campaigns in the Segunda División B, which is the third tier of Spanish football.

Both sides have several injury worries ahead of their 182nd La Liga clash.

Against Liverpool, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane had to make do without captain Sergio Ramos, who has played in more El Clásico matches – 45 – than any other player.

Ramos’ central defensive partner Raphael Varane will definitely be out of the game as he has tested positive for the Covid virus and will be forced to quarantine.

Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard were also unavailable against Liverpool and are likely to miss the clash against Barcelona.

Barcelona, who needed a last-gasp goal from Ousmane Dembele to beat lowly Valladolid 1-0 on Monday will probably be without inspirational Gerard Pique on Saturday.

But despite all the absences, there are still plenty of stars that will feature in the game, with Barcelona having the likes of Lionel Messi, Frenkie De Jong, Jordi Alba, Antoine Griezmann and young American Sergino Dest, while Real can count on Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and Luca Modric – amongst others.

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Pressure Mounts on Arsenal, Man U for Trophy as Europa League Reaches Q-Final Stage

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English clubs, Manchester United and Arsenal return to European action are among four unmissable quarter-final first-leg clashes exclusively live on StarTimes.

Since 1972, all permanent Manchester United managers have won at least one trophy in their stint with the Red Devils.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær is fast running out of options if he wants to ensure a continuation of this run in his third season in charge of the club.

Having taken over from Jose Mourinho (who won the Europa League, the League Cup and the Community Shield in his two and a half years in charge) in December 2018, the Norwegian’s best chance – and probably the only chance – for success this season is the Europa League.

On Thursday United are away to Spanish club Granada in the first leg of the quarter-final of the prestigious competition.

Granada, who entered the tournament in the 3rd qualifying round and have already played 13 Europa League matches, are enjoying their first-ever foray into European football.

If Solskjær is under pressure to do well, there is even more pressure on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. The Gunners slumped to a 3-0 home defeat against Liverpool on the weekend and are 10th in the league and seem unlikely to qualify for Europe next season.

Unless, of course, they win the Europa League.

Arsenal enjoy home advantage in the Emirates Stadium against Slavia Prague on Thursday and will be looking to ensure they travel to the Czech Republic with a lead a week later.

One of the reasons why Arsenal’s season has never quite reached the heights their fans expect is that star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not been as lethal upfront as he used to be.

Having scored over 30 goals in all competitions last season, the Gabonese international currently stands on just 14.

Football fans will be able to watch all the best action from the exciting competition live and exclusively on StarTimes Basic Bouquet for N1700 monthly or Smart Bouquet for N2200 monthly.

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Copa del Rey Final, Bundesliga, La Liga Live on StarTimes This Easter Holiday

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Exciting time await football fans during the Easter Holiday as top European fixtures will be aired live on StarTimes.

Football returns to Spain this weekend after the international break with nine games in La Liga and the final of the 2020 Copa del Rey.

The Copa del Rey final between local Basque rivals, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad will be played at 8:30pm on Saturday. It will air on StarTimes’ World Football channel. The channel was recently moved to basic and smart bouquets to make premium sports content available to all.

Real Sociedad have a slight doubt over the fitness of key midfielder Mikel Merino. Athletic are without any injuries for the game but defender Inigo Martinez and goalkeeper Unai Simon played 90 minutes for Spain on Wednesday night.

Sunday’s big match in La Liga will see league leaders Atletico Madrid face a difficult visit to fourth-placed Sevilla in one of the toughest tests they will face between now and the end of the season.

Atletico’s lead has been cut to just four points over Barcelona, and if Real Madrid win at home to Eibar, they could be just three points off the top by the time their city rivals kick-off.

In Bundesliga, the title race could be decided on Saturday as RB Leipzig face a Bayern Munich side at 5:30pm without star man Robert Lewandowski in a blockbuster clash.

With eight games to go in the league, Bayern have a four-point lead over Leipzig, who this season are looking like a team that can actually, win their first Bundesliga title.

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