SPAIN, ARGENTINA AND Brazil have the most expensive squads of the 32 sides competing in the World Cup in June, Brazilian financial daily Valor reported on Monday.
The squad of reigning champions Spain is worth an estimated 486.9 million euros ($674 million), ahead of 474.1 million euros for Argentina and 470.2 million for hosts Brazil, according to sports analysis consultancy Pluri Consultoria.
The company valued Germany’s squad at 445.6 million euros with France coming in ahead of England at 398.6 million euros for Les Bleus to 354.2 million for Roy Hodgson’s hopefuls.
Belgium’s squad outranks Italy at 336.1 million to 322.4 million for the Azzurri.
The report ranked Argentina and Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi as the highest-valued player at 138.1 million euros despite a 1.4 percent drop in his estimated price over the past year.
Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo saw his estimated value rise 11.4 percent over the past year after he landed the world player of the year accolade — but he still trails Messi by more than 30 million euros.
At 107.3 million euros, Ronaldo’s estimated current market value is more than a third of the 287 million euros for the entire Portugal squad.
Honduras bring up the rear with their squad valued at just 32.3 million euros — or less than one quarter of Messi and half the estimated 67.4 million for Brazil and Barcelona star Neymar, whose price tag is up 22.5 percent on last year.
The values are based on 77 criteria including age, technical ability, fitness and also marketing clout up to the date of the participating nations’ last outings.
The consultancy will update its values after the final squads are unveiled on May 7.