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Brazil vs Argentina

Brazil vs Argentina: most valuable starting XIs

Lionel Messi and Paolo Dybala, Alisson Becker and Philippe Coutinho take their places in the most expensive line-ups for the two South American greats.

Argentina's Lionel Messi.
Gustavo Ortiz/dpa Gustavo Ortiz/dpa

Maradona, Ronaldinho, Ardiles, Pele, Redondo, Ronaldo… When you start to think of a list of players that have represented the national football teams of Brazil and Argentina, the names just roll off the tongue. When you then start to put a value on their status when they were at their peak, that can very quickly provoke a debate, but there is no doubting that the stars of the past (for example, in our all-time best XIs) would have been transferred for a pretty penny in today’s market. And this goes for the current crop too.

Alisson, Messi, Coutinho, Dybala...

Ahead of Friday’s clash between Brazil and Argentina – which you can follow live with AS English – we thought we’d have a look at the current squads and see what they may be worth. For this exercise, we called upon website transfermarkt.com to help us out, with the caveat, of course, that actual transfer valuations are affected by a variety of unpredictable factors.

Based on the information available, we looked at a most expensive starting line-up and immediately see that the total value of the Samba Boys’ side comes in significantly more than that of the Albiceleste, a whopping 710 million euros compared to 489 million. Breaking that down further, and by position, we can see some of those that provide the most for their nation’s valuation.

Goalkeeper

Comparisons for the number one spot in each team is the most uneven. Brazil’s current generation boasts two of the highest regarded in the world in Liverpool’s Alisson Becker and Manchester City’s Ederson. Their respective valuations of €80m and €70m both dwarf that of any of Argentina’s goalkeepers, several being rotated over recent months, at no more than €10m.

Defender

The Brazilian defence is highlighted in valuation by PSG’s Marquinhos at €65m. The most prized Argentine in the backline is Nicolás Tagliafico who is starring for Ajax, but again the difference is huge, with the 27-year old rated at €28m.

Brazil most valuable XI

Midfielder

In the middle of the park, although with an attacking flair, the numbers are closer together. Coutinho made the move to Barcelona for potentially around €150m but, after a disappointing spel, is now trying to prove his worth at Bayern Munich on loan. His valuation of €90m is still significant but at the age of 27 many would argue that he should be reaching his peak. In a similar position for the South American opposition is Paulo Dybala. At 25, his valuation of €75m is arguably going to rise in the next couple of years if he continues to shine at Juventus.


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Forward

The attacking positions are normally where we find the most valuable players – ‘goals win games’ they say – and this is the one area of the field where the Albiceleste can boast a value advantage. Lionel Messi is regarding by most as the greatest player of all time and despite his 32-years of age, he continues to hold onto his worth, as he shows no sign of slowing down in Barcelona. At €150m no other player comes close in these squads, Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino the closest forward at €80m, although we should point out that there is a €180m-valued striker called Neymar who has somehow been dropped from the transfermarkt.com XI!

Argentina most valuable XI

Based on our most valuable XIs there is no doubt who should stroll out comfortable winners if these players were to be pitted against each other. In saying that, there is enough talent in the Argentine side to cause problems to their more northerly neighbours. Either way it should be an enjoyable spectacle, and one you’ll not want to miss…