Lionel Messi did not complete a move away from Barcelona before the beginning of the new season because his buyout clause was a staggering $825million.
But, according to new evaluations released by Transfer Market, the Argentine’s value is now nowhere the astronomic value of $825m again.
The COVID-19 outbreak has eroded the individual values of almost all the iconic football players which include Messi, Eden Hazard, and out-of-form Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.
They are not alone as many football teams all around the world have taken a hit, with many losing the revenue accrued from fans watching matches in the various stadiums.
The English Premier League has had to create a fund for clubs below the Premier League as they teeter on the brink of bankruptcy.
According to Transfer Market, Messi’s value dropped from about $165 million to $120 million between December 2019 and October 2019 while Hazard, battling injuries since his $150 million transfer to Madrid in 2019, has seen his value plummet – eroded from $142 million to just about $71 million.
Chelsea’s error-prone Spanish goalkeeper, Arrizabalaga, has also seen a large drop in value. The goalkeeper, purchased for a world record in 2018, has lost about 70% of his value – a valuation that could be an addition of the pandemic and his dramatic loss of form, which has seen him drop out of Chelsea’s first team since Edouard Mendy arrived during the transfer window.
Anglo-Nigerian, Dele Alli, has also had his value plummet by about 40% while reigning African footballer of the year, Sadio Mane, has seen a 20% drop in value.
But it is not all doom and gloom as another Anglo-Nigeria, Arsenal midfielder, Bukayo Saka, has seen his value increase by over 200%.
The transfer window was the first since 2015 when no player was bought or sold for over the $100 million mark. Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen was the highest valued player in the transfer window, joining Napoli from Lille for $94.6 eclipsing the $93.1 million Chelsea spent in acquiring Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen.
According to Transfer Market, the Nigerian’s value increased during the pandemic – from $32 million in April to $47 million in August.
As the revenue base of most teams continues to be impacted by COVID-19, there is every possibility that many more players will continue to experience devaluation.