A prominent research group in Switzerland has put together a list of "estimated transfer values" for the most expensive soccer players in Europe.
The ranking makes for interesting reading as Cristiano Ronaldo, a five-time Champions League winner, barely makes the list (down from 11th last year) and Neymar, who smashed the world transfer fee record when he left FC Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in a $260 million deal last summer, fails to make top spot.
Football think tank CIES Football Observatory researched data from 5,000 paid transfers over a seven year period and used those figures to assess "fair" transfer values for active soccer players in the top five European leagues - the Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy), and Ligue 1 (France).
Factors like talent level, contract duration, and the age of each specific soccer player come into effect in this ranking, as does the status of the recruiting club.
CIES discovered, through speaking with market actors (club executives operating in elite soccer), that "the status of the recruiting club has a major influence in determining the transfer price."
Here are the 25 most valuable soccer players competing in Europe right now, ranked in ascending order: