Two continents collide – most valuable European XI vs most valuable South American XI


England v Brazil Saturday 

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Since international football hit the world stage there have been two continental powerhouses. Every World Cup winner from when the tournament began in 1930 has been either a country from South America or Europe. In 2022 in Qatar, Argentina broke a 20 year curse to bring glory back to South America, as Lionel Messi led his nation to glory. That was the longest it had ever been without a team from that continent lifting the trophy.

This international break, many of the top South American teams will be crossing the Atlantic to take on their European counterparts. Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay and Chile will all be playing friendlies in Europe. Both Colombia and Brazil take on Spain, whilst Brazil will also face England this Saturday at Wembley. Chile go to the Stade Velodrome to play France early next week, whilst Uruguay will be playing a special game against the ‘Basque country’ at Athletic Club’s San Mames stadium, as Uruguay coach Marcelo Bielsa returns to his former stomping ground. It got us thinking here at Transfermarkt how it would match up if we put the most valuable European XI up against the most valuable South American XI. The two starting lineups are frightening, both oozing with top class talent.

Europe’s most valuable XI – combined market value – €1.24b

In the sticks for Europe is the most valuable keeper in the world, in Porto and Portugal’s Diogo Costa, with a market value of €45 million. The back four looks formidable. Arsenal and France’s William Saliba pairs up with Manchester City and Portugal’s Rúben Dias at centre-half; both players boast a market value of €80m. At right-back is Liverpool and England’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (€70m), and left-back goes to Man City and Croatia’s Joško Gvardiol (€75m) – a centre-back by trade, but primarily used by Pep Guardiola this season at full-back. 

The midfield three has a combined market value of €400m. Arsenal and England’s Declan Rice takes the holding role position. He is valued at €110m – the same as Spain’s Rodri but Rice makes the team as he is two years younger. Ahead of him is his compatriot and Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham – the joint most valuable player in the world at €180m, and Bayern Munich and Germany playmaker Jamal Musiala (€110m).

Remarkably, the front three is worth even more, boasting a combined market value of a whopping €490m. Arsenal and England star Bukayo Saka (€130m) lines up on the right wing with departing PSG superstar and France international Kylian Mbappé on the left of the attack. Then through the middle is Man City and Norway’s prolific striker Erling Haaland. Both Haaland and Mbappé are also the joint most valuable players in world football at €180m. 

England players make up the largest proportion of the team, with four Three Lions’ players in the lineup. Followed by France and Portugal, who both have two players in the XI. The entire team has a combined market value of a mind-boggling €1.24b. That means the average value of a player in that side is €112.7m. The European XI beats the South American team by €325m in market value, but that doesn’t mean the South American team isn’t also a side to behold.

South America’s most valuable XI – €915m

In goal for the South Americans is Man City and Brazil shot stopper Ederson (€40m), beating his compatriot Alisson (€32m) to the team. In front of him at centre-back are Arsenal and Brazil’s Gabriel (€65m) and Barcelona and Uruguay’s Ronald Araújo (€70m). At right-back is Real Madrid and Brazilian defender Éder Militão (€70m). A centre-back by trade, but played at right-back for Brazil at the World Cup, he is currently recovering from an ACL injury suffered earlier in the season. Left-back goes to Brighton and Colombia defender Pervis Estupiñán (€35m) – the lowest valued player in either of the teams. 

In midfield for South America, it’s Newcastle and Brazil’s Bruno Guimarães (€85m) and Real Madrid and Uruguay’s Federico Valverde (€100m). Ahead of that pair, in the hole behind the striker, is Man City and Argentina’s Julián Álvarez (€90m). Only one of two Argentines in the team, Álvarez may have his sights set on becoming the first Premier League South American to reach €100m in market value.

The front three consists of two more Brazilians and an Argentine striker. Teammates for both Brazil and Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (€150m) and Rodrygo (€100m) line up on the wings. Vincius is the most valuable player in the South American XI. Then up top, its Inter Milan and Argentina forward Lautaro Martínez, with a market value of €110m. Brazil dominate the team and boast over half of the players in the lineup, with both Argentina and Uruguay also contributing two players each.


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