Lionel Messi hits lowest market value since 2006 – But remains most valuable player over 34

Lionel Messi hits lowest market value since 2006 – But remains most valuable player over 34

MLS news: Lionel Messi hits lowest market value since 2006 - But remains most valuable player over 34



The great Lionel Messi has practically completed football. A player who many already considered the greatest footballer ever, even further staked his claim to that throne when he led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar, aged 35. Seven Ballon d’Ors, over 800 career goals and 40 trophies, the magician has dazzled for the past two decades and brought so much joy to the world through his sheer natural footballing ability. However, now aged 36, the icon has seen his market value drop to €30 million in the latest MLS market value update this March.

The Argentine has already had a great impact in the USA, following his transfer to Inter Miami last summer, and entering the twilight of his career, has scored 16 goals and provided seven assists in 19 games for the American side. Nevertheless, now aged 36, his market value has fallen to the lowest it has been since 2006. The end of an era is coming. With our expert insight from North America, we take a look at how Messi’s market value has peaked and now fallen.

The rise and fall of Messi’s market value

The amazing career of Messi, coinciding with the footballing economy, sees his market value development showcase a good representation of his career. Messi’s highest market value was in 2018 with Barcelona, when he was valued at €180m. Prior to that, he stayed at €120m for around five years between 2012 and 2017. Messi’s market value began to fall after 2018, as he entered his 30’s. His market value remained at €35m after he swapped PSG for Inter Miami last summer, until the 36-year-old maestro saw his value drop this week to €30m.


Lionel Messi

L. MessiRight Winger
Career stats
All competitions


Manuel Veth is Transfermarkt’s North America area manager and has watched Messi’s impact in the United States closely. He tells us more about the Argentine’s influence so far in America, “There is no doubt that Messi had an instant impact at Inter Miami. The World Cup winner guided the league’s worst club to an unlikely Leagues Cup triumph securing his new club a spot in this season’s Concacaf Champions Cup. Messi scored 10 goals and registered one assist in seven games in what was an incredible run in the knockout competition. The Leagues Cup performances, however, came at a hefty price.” 


Market Value
Lionel Messi

L. MessiRight Winger



Indeed injuries have been a huge issue as Messi enters the finale of his career, and Veth explains how its affected performances, “Messi managed just one goal and two assists in six games once the MLS resumed. Injury concerns were then further aggravated by Miami going on a global tour that included games in Saudi Arabia and South East Asia, where the club were booed by fans for not always playing Messi. The international tours also might have impacted Messi’s health this season. The 36 year old started the season with five goals and two assists in five games, but has missed the last three MLS matches with muscular problems that also kept him out for Argentina for the March friendlies.”


Veth also explains more about why Messi’s market value has fallen, and how it still has the superstar among the most valuable in his age group: ”When on the pitch and healthy, there is no doubt that Messi is still the biggest impact player MLS has ever seen. But the travel in North America together with the strain of a disastrous preseason tour also seems to pay a toll on the 36-year-old’s body. With that in mind, it was inevitable to drop his market value from €35m to €30m. Messi does remain the most valuable player in the league, €3m ahead of Atlanta United youngster Thiago Almada. Messi also remains—by some margin—the most valuable over 34-year-old player on the planet.



“Messi’s market value at 36 almost feels unprecedented. And there are good reasons why he remains at the very top of his age category. From a financial standpoint, Messi has brought significant attention to MLS and its broadcaster Apple TV. The Messi factor has also seen Inter Miami’s valuation skyrocket over the last few months. Sportico reported that the Beckham-owned club saw its valuation grow by 74% from $583m to now over just $1bn. Messi also fills stadiums across the US and Canada, even though it is hardly guaranteed that he is actually on the pitch. Finally, he has convinced many of his friends to join the project in Miami such as Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba and Luis Suárez. All of these things are difficult to quantify, and Messi would certainly be one of those few players that despite his advanced age could fetch a transfer fee even beyond his market value on the open market.”

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