Tuesday 20 October 2020 7:00 am

Champions League behind the numbers: Richest clubs, most valuable squads and players 2020-21

The Champions League begins again in earnest this week when the cream of European football kick off the group stage.

It comes less than two months after Bayern Munich lifted the trophy in a coronavirus-delayed conclusion to last season.

Despite that success, the German club do not have the most valuable squad in this year’s Champions League.

That honour goes to Premier League winners Liverpool, with their domestic rivals Manchester City a close second.

Barcelona are third and Bayern fourth, according to data from transfermarkt.com.

At £991m, Liverpool’s squad is worth 45 times that of the least valuable outfit in the group stage, Hungary’s Ferencvaros.

In fact, such is the financial might of the elite that the eight richest clubs’ squads are together worth more than the other 24 combined.

Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool
Sadio Mane (left) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (right) are among the most valuable players in this season’s Champions League (Getty Images)

Richest Champions League clubs

Ranked by their most recently published annual revenue, Barcelona are the richest club in this year’s Champions League.

The Spanish team’s income of €855m is almost €100m greater than that of rivals Real Madrid, who are second on the list.

Manchester United rank third with Bayern again fourth. Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are all in the top 10.

Barcelona, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund are the only clubs among the top 10 to have reported their 2019-20 accounts.

Other teams’ figures are based on their 2018-19 revenue, according to Deloitte.

Lionel Messi of Barcelona
Barcelona top the richest clubs’ list, but Messi is only ninth on the ranking of most valuable players (Getty Images)

So far, clubs’ financial results have shown the effects of coronavirus. Barcelona’s revenue was broadly flat, as was Dortmund’s, while Juve’s fell.

Most valuable Champions League players

It will come as little surprise that last season’s beaten finalists Paris Saint-Germain boast two of the most valuable players in the competition.

At £162m, Kylian Mbappe is streets ahead in that list, followed by team-mate Neymar and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who are both estimated to be worth £115m.

Lionel Messi (£90m) is only ninth, due to his contract being due to expire next summer, while Cristiano Ronaldo does not make the cut.

Sterling is one of three England players in the top 10, along with Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar of Paris Saint-Germain
Mbappe and Neymar are the most valuable players in the competition (AFP via Getty Images)

The Premier League is the best represented domestic competition, with City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Liverpool pair Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane also figuring.

Only one Bayern player, Serge Gnabry, sneaks into the top 10 most valuable players list.