Buenos Aires: With Argentina's star footballer Lionel Messi injured and unable to represent his national team in the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualifiers, the South American side is no longer the most valuable team in the region in terms of its players' market value.
According to statistics published by specialised football site Transfermarkt, the FC Barcelona forward is the most expensive player in the world, along with Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, with a market value of around $134 million, Xinhua reported.
This means that at the start of the World Cup qualifiers, Brazil will be the most expensive team in South America, valued at $465 million. This is $25 million more than the current Argentinian team even though Brazil are also without their star striker Neymar.
Without Messi, Sergio Aguero becomes Argentina's most expensive player with a market value of $67 million followed by Angel Di Maria, who is worth around $56 million, according to the soccer information website.
Brazil's price table is headed by English club Chelsea's midfielder Oscar with a cost of $42.6 million followed by forwards Hulk and Lucas who the site evaluates at $41.4 million and 35.8 million respectively.
In terms of the market price of players, the third most expensive South American team is Colombia even though their star James Rodriguez ($89.6 million) is currently absent from the team. The current team is allegedly valued at $207 million.
Behind them is Uruguay ($151 million), Chile ($119 million), Ecuador ($74 million), Peru ($50 million), Venezuela ($42 million) and Paraguay ($38 million).
Bolivia come in at last place with a team that is valued at only $5.6 million.