Marquinhos is the most highly-valued defender in world football, but what other Centre-backs, full-backs and wing-backs feature in the top 10?
Sportsleo looks into this citing a transfer valuations calculated in collaboration with SciSports, a world-leading football analytics agency that assesses the relative transfer valuations of over 60,000 professional footballers worldwide.
SciSports use multiple data points including current and potential ability, contract length, form, age, and other crucial factors.
The defender with the highest price tag in world football is Paris Saint Germain star Marquinhos. Such is the Brazilian’s brilliance, it would take an offer of $112m or €95.5 million in other currencies just to make PSG think twice.
After making a name for himself at his first club, Corinthians, Marcos Aoás Corrêa, also known as Marquinhos – travelled to Europe to join AS Roma in 2012. And it took less than a year for the promising defender to cross the Alps.
Approached at 19 years old by Paris Saint-Germain, the young Brazilian quickly made his mark as a pillar of the club from the capital, as well as with the Brazil national side. A true rock in defense, who is equally capable of plying his trade in midfield, ‘Marqui’ quickly won over the City of Lights with his strength of character, his loyalty and maturity.
Cherry on the cake, he is one of the most prolific defenders in the club’s history. A flawless Paris Saint Germain Captain which he picked up from Thiago Silva in 2020 after the latter moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer of the same year.
In second place is Bayern Munich wonderkid Alphonso Davies, who is naturally a winger but is deployed as a flying left-back for his club team. He is valued at $105m or €89.5m in other currencies.
Alphonso Davies’ greatest quality remains his versatility. His athleticism means he can be influential in both the first and final thirds, and can cover a huge amount of ground regardless of his nominal position. Like other explosive wide players such as Neymar and Mbappe, he can slow down to execute a pass, turn or shot after an explosive moment but, unlike others, he does so without losing control.
Those abilities become particularly influential when he attempts a run from deep territory. If advancing into space (below), he does so with confidence, identifies those in more central positions, and favors accurately playing possession across the penalty area. When there aren’t suitable targets for him to cross to, he will instead play a one-two with a teammate to draw an opposing defender and then receive the return pass further forwards.
Davies has proven himself adept at making timely interceptions, but if asked to defend in a block for a sustained period he can occasionally lose the relevant attacker particularly when attacks are built on the opposite wing.
Joining him on the podium in third position is his Bayern teammate Joshua Kimmich. The German often plays at central midfield – but is equally world-class at right back. He is valued at $99,6m or €84.5m in other currencies.
Joshua Kimmich might be the only man in the modern game to rank as conceivably the world’s best player in two different positions.
Kimmich proved an instant hit in the Leipzig midfield, helping the ambitious German club gain promotion from the third tier in 2013/14. Midway through his first season of Bundesliga 2 football, he signed a deal with record champions Bayern, whose then coach Pep Guardiola reportedly went to watch him in action prior to the 2014/15 winter break.
Kimmich has since ended every season as a Bundesliga champion with Bayern. He has made over 261 competitive appearances for the Bavarian giants, producing 30 goals and 71 assists.
He has lifted three DFB Cups, four DFL Super cups, the UEFA Champions League, the FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup, and was voted into the 2019/20 UEFA Team of the Season for his part in Bayern’s sixth European Cup triumph.
Remarkably for a player who packs more testosterone in his pocket-rocket frame than the entire field at an Arnold Classic, the Bayern all-rounder has never been sent off in over 370 competitive appearances for club and country.
His only red card on record fell whilst playing for Stuttgart in the U19s Bundesliga on 3 March 2013, four weeks after his 18th birthday.
Up next are Liverpool’s two full backs, with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s price tag set at $98m or €83.6m in other currencies and Andrew Robertson at $92m or €78.4m in other currencies.
The sixth player on the list is Juventus star Matthijs De Ligt. The 21-year-old is valued at $91m or €77.6m.
Following De Ligt is Manchester City Centre back Ruben Dias. The 24-year-old enjoyed a brilliant first season for his club and was named Premier League Player of the Year. He is rated at $85m or €72.2m.
In eighth position is one of the most highly sought-after defenders on the summer transfer market in Sevilla central defender Jules Kounde.
Kounde, who can also play at right back, has been earmarked as a possible replacement for Raphael Varane at Real Madrid and is valued at $84m or €72m.
Harry Maguire is in ninth place according to the Scisports with an estimation valued at $77m or €65.7m, Maguire is the most expensive central defender of all time of Manchester United and will look to partner with Varane if the transfer proceeds on well as things seems to pan out between Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Varane himself rounds off our top ten expensive defenders place and should be costing Manchester United close to $58m or €50m we shall see how much they end up paying for him.