Yupp! The best player in the world ISN’T the most expensive!
After all, we live in times where money is changing hands (and legs) as many times as a football does in a tiki-taka strategy dominated football game!

So what would even account for this?
Isn’t it that the better you are the higher is the dollar paid for you?

Answer: We’d all think so. But football, in the 21st century, has turned into capitalist foreplay between Russian billionaires, Middle-Eastern Oil barons, and Spanish kings.

Player price tags are governed by buy-out clauses, possessive boyfriends like club owners and the quest for power!
The game, is just a pathway to attain a larger means for these businesses. The players, well they’re just pawns.

And buy-out clauses? They’re just a bad-ass way of showing who’s boss. A pissing contest if you may.

Technically, a buy-out clause is what a buyer will pay the player’s team in the event of wanting to buy the player in the middle of his contract tenure. Example: PSG buying Neymar from Barcelona in his 2nd year of a 5-year contract.

Coming back, here are 9 players more who have more expensive buy-out clauses than Lionel Messi.

  • Karim Benzema – €1bn (£886m) –
    At par with the world’s greatest, this Algerian born French national somehow managed to convince Real Madrid C.F. that he is one of the best forwards in the world. The result? Them tying him to a rope back at the Santiago Bernabeu
  • Ronaldo – €1billion (£886m) –
    Literally no surprises here. This was expected. What wasn’t expected though was point no. 10 below.
  • Gareth Bale – €500m (£443m) –
    Scouts at the Spanish capital disguised themselves, walked straight into over the British territory in London, walked into White Heart Lane, took him and went away. Oh and then they said, you’re not going back!
  • Marco Asensio – €700m (£620m) –
    This guy is 21! He MAY feel trapped given this huge buy out clause but who would ever want to leave the best football club in the world anyway? (Psstt… Mesut Ozil would)
  • Toni Kroos, – €500m (£443m) –
    Real Madrid may have La Fabrica as their youth academy but most of their players hail from all over the world and not the academy itself. German midfielder Toni Kroos being a prominent example.
  • Ousmane Dembele – €400m (£354m) –
    Barcelona evidently learnt from the Neymar debacle and there was no way they were letting his replacement go that easy. Ergo, a large buy-out clause. Bring it, investors!
  • Dani Ceballos – €500m (£443m) –
    Again Real Madrid have their youth academy, but this time they had their eyes on Sevilla FC’s youth academy graduate Ceballos, who by the way is not even a year old in the team.
  • Isco – €700m (£620m) –
    He is by far one of the best attacking midfielders in the world. This buy out clause explains itself thereafter.
  • Luka Modric – €500m (£443m) –
    Spanish scouts at the capital literally did the same thing they did with Gareth Bale, only a year earlier. Next stop, Harry Kane?
  • Lionel Messi – €300m (£266m) – And then there’s god. For those of you who think Messi is over-rated, Look again! There’s 9 not-as-natural-enough talents above that may debunk your standpoint.

A closer look will tell you that all of the above are Real Madrid players with the exception of Dembele who came after the learning’s of the Neymar Fisaco. The club has been alleged to build a squad by paying top dollar. Given that they work so hard on scouting the best, they would want a tighter lock-in too. Sounds about fair.

Bonus: Here’s 5 names whose buy-out clauses are almost as much as Neymar’s is. Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta, Antoine Griezmann all have a price of  €200m (£177m) on their contract.

200 million doesn’t look as big as a number now, does it?