Messi worth twice as much as Ronaldo, as Podolski beats Bale

Report says Barcelona star would fetch £200m and claims Arsenal get best value in transfer market


LIONEL MESSI would be worth more than £200m if Barcelona decided to sell him, according to a football survey that values the biggest players across Europe. According to analysts at the Football Observatory research centre in Switzerland, Barcelona's Argentine ace is worth twice as much as Cristiano Ronaldo and five times as much as Spurs winger Gareth Bale (valued at around £40m). The survey, which looks at a host of data from the top divisions in England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France, suggests that stories claiming that Ronaldo will be sold for more than £80m this summer are putting the correct valuation on him. The Football Observatory believes he is worth between £86m and £100m. "With only two seasons of his contract remaining and at 28 years of age, Real Madrid has probably the last opportunity to sell him for a profit," says the report. It also claims that Bayern Munich have got a bargain by buying Mario Gotze for £31.5m from Borussia Dortmund as he is worth at least £35m. The report also makes good reading for Arsenal fans, as it suggests that the Gunners squad is worth £100m more than it cost to assemble. "Arsenal's strategy of buying cheap, young players has paid off," reports the Daily Mail, which adds that Man City's expensive squad is worth £40m less than the club paid for it. The report also contains some other interesting findings: The Premier League lacks British talent: The report shows that across the top five European leagues seven teams fielded fewer than ten home-grown players in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. Six of the them were in the Premier League. Arsenal were the worst offenders - only five of their first team squad were British. Next were Wigan who used six domestic players while Chelsea, Everton, Fulham and Man City had only eight. The only other team in Europe was Roma, with seven Italians. English football is not for youngsters: Last season the average age of a Premier League player was just a fraction over 27, the second-highest in Europe. Only Italy was higher with an average age of 27.4, although Spain was only marginally younger than England. The German Bundesliga was the youngest league, with an average age of 25.6 In the Premier League, Aston Villa were the youngest team (average age 24.1 - only Toulouse in France was lower) followed by Southampton and then Arsenal. Podolski is "more decisive" than Bale: The survey rated players according to "five specific areas of the game, weighted according to their impact on club results". Top of the decisiveness table was Lionel Messi. Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich was second and Cristiano Ronaldo was third, followed by Real Madrid club-mate Mesut Ozil. Suarez was the top-rated Premier League player in tenth place. Santi Cazorla of Arsenal was 15th and Juan Mata of Chelsea was 17th. Wayne Rooney was 19th and, despite a stellar season for Spurs, Gareth Bale was only 23rd on the list, two places below Lukas Podolski of Arsenal. Money does buy success: "The transfer expenditure of clubs is highly correlated to results," says the report, which claimed that the trend was most pronounced in the Premier League. Six English clubs (last season's top five and Liverpool) were among Europe's top 12 transfer spenders. That top 12 also included the champions of all five big European leagues and only Inter Milan and Liverpool failed to qualify for the Champions League. Chelsea spend most per point: Last season Chelsea spent almost £5m per Premier League point, having spent £370m on their squad and finished the season on 75 points. Man City was not far behind on £4.82m per point. Man United spent more than £1m less per point. Norwich got the best value for money - their 44 premier league points came at a cost of just £0.5m each.

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