Cape Town – England’s Jude Bellingham, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, has been named the most valuable player at the 2022 Fifa World Cup, according to the authoritative CIES Football Observatory, the research group based in Switzerland.
And Gareth Southgate’s charges take the prize for being the highest valued squad at the World Cup.
Somewhat surprisingly England have pipped Brazil as the most valuable squad at the World Cup. Over the years, the world’s most expensive players hailed from Brazil, but this has changed in recent years with European nations fielding some of the world’s finest players.
England are gunning for their second World Cup title, and their squad is valued at a tournament topping £1.31-billion, ahead of 2022 favourites Brazil (£1.27b), France (£1.17b) and Spain (£1.05b).
The 831 players at the World Cup have a total estimated transfer value of €15b. Squad values range from €23-million for Costa Rica up to England’s whopping €1.5b.
The CIES Football Observatory, the research group within the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) specialises in the statistical analysis of football.
The research organisation gave Bellingham a price tag valued at an astronomical £176.9m, but it will not thwart global interest in the midfielder. The 19-year-old Bellingham impressed in England’s 6-2 win over Iran on Monday in their Group B opener, and scored his first goal for his country when he headed home Luke Shaw’s cross.
If England go all the way and Bellingham continues to deliver, it is very likely his value will shoot through the roof and it could spark a bidding war for his services next summer.
Borussia Dortmund are resigned to losing the services of their star midfielder and have asked to discuss the matter at the end of the World Cup.
“After Qatar, we’ll have a discussion about what he actually wants,” said Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke. “Jude Bellingham should just tell us whether he wants to stay or leave.
“If the really big clubs are involved, then we can’t afford to have a fight financially.”
Close behind Bellingham is Real Madrid winger Vinicius jnr in the No 2 spot at £176m. Given the departure of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United are plotting an audacious swoop for the Brazilian as their next marquee player.
Third on the list is Kylian Mbappé who has a value of £162m. Now that Lionel Messi and Ronaldo are in the twilight of their careers, he is hailed as the next big thing on football’s global stage.
Recent reports say Mbappé has arrived at the World Cup in Qatar with a cloud hanging over his future at Paris Saint-Germain. He fell out with the club’s hierarchy because the Qatari-owned club was late in paying his salary.