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M.J.Luengo | 07/12/2012
Leo Messi is the most valuable player in the world, with an estimated market value of 140 million euros, according to a study by Brazilian consultancy firm Pluri Consultoria.
The second most valuable player is Cristiano Ronaldo, at 96.3 million euros, followed by Andrés Iniesta, 68.4 million euros, and Wayne Rooney, 60.2 million euros
The top three are the same as in 2011, although their values have increased by 40 million, 6.3 milion and 3.4 million respectively.
Radamel Falcao has seen his value increase significantly, from 40th place in 2011 to fifth in 2012, with a current value of 56.1 million euros.
There are six Spaniards among the 20 most valuable players in the world, the aforementioned Iniesta, Cesc Fàbregas (joint 8th), David Silva (joint 8th) Sergio Busquets (15th), Gerard Piqué (19th) and Juan Mata, who rose from 54th in 2011 to 20th in 2012.
Meanwhile, four Spaniards experienced significant falls in value. David Villa went from 7th last year to not even making the top 60, Xavi Hernández slipped from 8th in the list to 41st, Fernando Torres from 9th to 44th and Xabi Alonso from 20th to 59th.
However, Spanish footballers are still the most valued of all nationalities, with 14 Spaniards in the top 60, eight Brazilians, seven Argentines, seven Germans, three Portuguese players and three Italians.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid have the most number of players in the list, with 11, followed by Barcelona, who have 10. Manchester City have the third most players in the top 60, with six.
28 forwards are in the list, making it the most valuable position, while the least valuable position is goalkeeper, with Iker Casillas the only 'keeper to make the list.
Pluriconsultoría calculated the valuations based on 16 criteria, including age, technique, definition, strength, position, prestige of league, trophies won and international caps.