Special Report

The Most Valuable Teams at the World Cup

Friedemann Vogel - Pool / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

Soccer fans did not have to wait long for the first major upset at the World Cup. In a moment that will go down in history as one of the biggest shockers in any edition of the tournament, world soccer powerhouse Argentina lost 2 to 1 to the virtually unknown team of Saudi Arabia on the third day of play in Qatar.

In other words, a team whose players are worth a combined total of $770 million lost to a team worth nearly 16 times less than that. (In all sports, these are the worst blunders in history.)

To compile a list of the most valuable national teams at the World Cup, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a report by consumer data site Statista. Information on players’ transfer value – the estimated amount for which a team can sell a player’s contract to another team – came from CIES Football Observatory, a website that specializes in the statistical analysis of soccer and players.

England’s squad has the highest collective transfer value, reaching just over $1.5 billion. The least expensive squad is that of Costa Rica. It is worth around 1.5% of England’s, at about $23 million.  

Click here to see the most valuable teams at the World Cup

Argentina’s hiccup notwithstanding, money helps make teams better. The most valuable national teams are also generally those with the highest chances of winning the World Cup (at least before the group stage is over). Value doesn’t always correspond with quality, however. This is where the teams at the tournament rank in the world.

Source: Joe Allison / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

32. Costa Rica
> Transfer value: $24 million
> Most expensive player: Keylor Navas
> Keylor Navas’s transfer value: $4 million
> Club: Paris St-Germain (France)

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Source: Francois Nel / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

31. Qatar
> Transfer value: $29 million
> Most expensive player: Almoez Ali
> Almoez Ali’s transfer value: $4 million
> Club: Al-Duhail SC (Qatar)

Source: Joe Allison / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

30. Australia
> Transfer value: $39 million
> Most expensive player: Ajdin Hrustić
> Ajdin Hrustić’s transfer value: $7 million
> Club: Hellas Verona (Italy)

Source: Atsushi Tomura / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

29. Saudi Arabia
> Transfer value: $50 million
> Most expensive player: Saud Abdulhamid
> Saud Abdulhamid’s transfer value: $5 million
> Club: Al-Hilal SFC (Saudi Arabia)

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Source: Mohamed Farag / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

28. Iran
> Transfer value: $55 million
> Most expensive player: Mehdi Taremi
> Mehdi Taremi’s transfer value: $21 million
> Club: Porto (Portugal)

Source: Kiyoshi Ota / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

27. Tunisia
> Transfer value: $59 million
> Most expensive player: Montassar Talbi
> Montassar Talbi’s transfer value: $12 million
> Club: Lorient (France)

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Source: Francois Nel / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

26. South Korea
> Transfer value: $164 million
> Most expensive player: Heung-Min Son
> Heung-Min Son’s transfer value: $47 million
> Club: Tottenham Hotspur (England)

Source: Pool / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

25. Ecuador
> Transfer value: $168 million
> Most expensive player: Piero Hincapié
> Piero Hincapié’s transfer value: $40 million
> Club: Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)

Source: Gallo Images / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

24. Cameroon
> Transfer value: $182 million
> Most expensive player: André-Franck Zambo
> André-Franck Zambo’s transfer value: $34 million
> Club: SSC Napoli (Italy)

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Source: Shaun Botterill / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

23. Wales
> Transfer value: $186 million
> Most expensive player: Brennan Johnson
> Brennan Johnson’s transfer value: $27 million
> Club: Nottingham Forest (England)

22. Canada
> Transfer value: $199 million
> Most expensive player: Alphonso Davies
> Alphonso Davies’s transfer value: $70 million
> Club: Bayern München (Germany)

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Source: Atsushi Tomura / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

21. Mexico
> Transfer value: $201 million
> Most expensive player: Edson Álvarez
> Edson Álvarez’s transfer value: $28 million
> Club: AFC Ajax (Netherlands)

Source: Atsushi Tomura / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

20. Japan
> Transfer value: $211 million
> Most expensive player: Ritsu Doan
> Ritsu Doan’s transfer value: $30 million
> Club: SC Freiburg (Germany)

Source: Koji Watanabe / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

19. Ghana
> Transfer value: $213 million
> Most expensive player: Thomas Partey
> Thomas Partey’s transfer value: $26 million
> Club: Arsenal (England)

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Source: Adam Nurkiewicz / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

18. Poland
> Transfer value: $322 million
> Most expensive player: Robert Lewandowski
> Robert Lewandowski’s transfer value: $61 million
> Club: Barcelona (Spain)

Source: Francois Nel / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

17. Morocco
> Transfer value: $324 million
> Most expensive player: Achraf Hakimi
> Achraf Hakimi’s transfer value: $82 million
> Club: Paris St-Germain (France)

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Source: Ryan Pierse / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

16. Senegal
> Transfer value: $324 million
> Most expensive player: Sadio Mané
> Sadio Mané’s transfer value: $74 million
> Club: Bayern München (Germany)

Source: Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

15. United States
> Transfer value: $376 million
> Most expensive player: Christian Pulišić
> Christian Pulišić’s transfer value: $54 million
> Club: Chelsea (England)

Source: Catherine Ivill / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

14. Switzerland
> Transfer value: $377 million
> Most expensive player: Gregor Kobel
> Gregor Kobel’s transfer value: $53 million
> Club: Borussia Dortmund (Germany)

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Source: Friedemann Vogel - Pool / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

13. Denmark
> Transfer value: $415 million
> Most expensive player: Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg
> Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg’s transfer value: $71 million
> Club: Tottenham Hotspur (England)

Source: Srdjan Stevanovic / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

12. Serbia
> Transfer value: $416 million
> Most expensive player: Dušan Vlahović
> Dušan Vlahović’s transfer value: $100 million
> Club: Juventus (Italy)

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Source: IdealPhoto30 / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

11. Croatia
> Transfer value: $492 million
> Most expensive player: Joško Gvardiol
> Joško Gvardiol’s transfer value: $113 million
> Club: RB Leipzig (Germany)

Source: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

10. Belgium
> Transfer value: $579 million
> Most expensive player: Thibaut Courtois
> Thibaut Courtois’s transfer value: $68 million
> Club: Real Madrid (Spain)

Source: Pool / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

9. Uruguay
> Transfer value: $608 million
> Most expensive player: Federico Valverde
> Federico Valverde’s transfer value: $127 million
> Club: Real Madrid (Spain)

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Source: Alexandre Schneider / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

8. Argentina
> Transfer value: $770 million
> Most expensive player: Lautaro Martínez
> Lautaro Martínez’s transfer value: $102 million
> Club: Inter Milan (Italy)

Source: Mike Hewitt / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

7. Netherlands
> Transfer value: $779 million
> Most expensive player: Frenkie de Jong
> Frenkie de Jong’s transfer value: $113 million
> Club: Barcelona (Spain)

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Source: ZU_09 / iStock via Getty Images

6. Germany
> Transfer value: $1.05 billion
> Most expensive player: Jamal Musiala
> Jamal Musiala’s transfer value: $156 million
> Club: Bayern München (Germany)

Source: Tibor Illyes - Pool / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

5. Portugal
> Transfer value: $1.19 billion
> Most expensive player: Rúben Dias
> Rúben Dias’s transfer value: $122 million
> Club: Manchester City (England)

Source: David Ramos / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

4. Spain
> Transfer value: $1.23 billion
> Most expensive player: Pedri González
> Pedri González’s transfer value: $163 million
> Club: Barcelona (Spain)

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Source: Aurelien Meunier / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

3. France
> Transfer value: $1.38 billion
> Most expensive player: Kylian Mbappé
> Kylian Mbappé’s transfer value: $191 million
> Club: Paris St-Germain (France)

Source: Atsushi Tomura / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

2. Brazil
> Transfer value: $1.50 billion
> Most expensive player: Vinícius Júnior
> Vinícius Júnior’s transfer value: $207 million
> Club: Real Madrid (Spain)

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Source: Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

1. England
> Transfer value: $1.54 billion
> Most expensive player: Jude Bellingham
> Jude Bellingham’s transfer value: $208 million
> Club: Borussia Dortmund (Germany)

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