5 Most valuable Spanish players in Europe

FC Barcelona v RC Celta - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v RC Celta - La Liga Santander
Sai Teja

It is no secret that the Spanish national side currently do not possess the riches they once did. La Furia Roja had to bid farewell to their golden generation of players that helped them win two UEFA European Championships and a FIFA World Cup in a four-year span.

This era included players such as Andres Iniesta, Iker Casillas, David Villa, and several other legendary names.

Vicente del Bosque, the man responsible for two of Spain's biggest honours (World Cup, Euro 2012), was the last manager to enjoy this wealth of players. He was able to call up a host of mighty talented players every single time, and after he retired, the onus of Spain's transition period fell to Luis Enrique.

Netherlands v Spain: 2010 FIFA World Cup Final
Netherlands v Spain: 2010 FIFA World Cup Final

The former Barcelona coach has been regarded as one of the more impressive Spanish coaches over the last decade. He is now faced with the herculean task of rebuilding La Roja's core and making them competitive at the highest level once again, starting with Euro 2020.

While he may not have the Iniestas and Villas that Del Bosque was able to call up, Spain still do have a fair few interesting talents among their ranks. If they are nurtured well by club and country, these stars could go on to bring a lot of success for La Roja.

On that note, here is a look at the five most valuable Spanish players in Europe.

#5 Marcos Llorente | Atletico Madrid | €70m

Liverpool FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
Liverpool FC v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg

Marcos Llorente kicks off this list as the fifth most valuable Spanish player in Europe at the moment. The midfielder was at Real Madrid since the age of 13 and switched allegiances to join Atletico Madrid in 2019, 11 years after joining Los Blancos. He left Real Madrid due to a lack of first-team opportunities, but his transformation after joining their rivals has simply been magnificent.

From a deep-lying midfielder at Real Madrid, Llorente was moved higher up the pitch by Diego Simeone and reaped the rewards of his faith in him.

He has played as a second striker, box-to-box midfielder, and even at wing-back on occasion for Los Colchoneros, making him one of the most unique players in Europe. It would take a massive fee for any club to lure him away from Simeone's side.

#4 Rodrigo Hernandez | Manchester City | €70m

Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

Another player with experience of playing under Diego Simeone, Rodri, is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. The Manchester City man is the metronome at the base of Pep Guardiola's midfield, keeping the game ticking for his side. He is often likened to his compatriot and the man he refers to as his idol, Sergio Busquets.

Few players in the world right now can play the holding role as well as pass the ball like Rodri can.

The midfielder's towering physique enables him to dominate the middle of the park aerially and on the ground, winning the ball back and spraying it around effortlessly. Rodri is the likeliest candidate to take over Busquets' mantle for Spain when the 32-year-old eventually calls it a day.

Also read: 5 Most expensive Bundesliga exports of all time

#3 Mikel Oyarzabal | Real Sociedad | €70m

Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - Supercopa de Espana Semi Final
Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - Supercopa de Espana Semi Final

Real Sociedad's prestigious academy product, Mikel Oyarzabal, is one of the best wingers in LaLiga Santander. The 24-year-old dons the captain's armband at the age of 24 for La Real, which speaks volumes of his stature at the club. The Spaniard has played an integral role in Sociedad's campaign, helping them finish in fifth place.

He scored 11 goals and set up a further eight for La Real, forming a superb partnership with the likes of Alexander Isak and Portu in attack.

Oyarzabal was one of the few players in LaLiga to have hit double digits for goals and assists last season with 10 and 11, respectively. He's set to represent La Roja at the upcoming UEFA Euro 2020 after receiving a call-up from Luis Enrique.

#2 Pedri Gonzalez | Barcelona | €70m

FC Barcelona v SD Huesca - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v SD Huesca - La Liga Santander

Pedri is arguably one of the most intriguing talents La Roja has been blessed with in recent years. The teenager was initially brought in from Las Palmas for a mere €5m as one for the future and was set to go out on loan. However, he impressed Ronald Koeman and co enough to remain at the club, and Barcelona benefitted tremendously from this decision.

Pedri has drawn a lot of comparisons to Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta for the way he approaches the game.

The 18-year-old's composure, understanding of the game and ability truly belie his age. He can drop deep, play higher up, dribble past players and is a highly multi-faceted player. Pedri's connection with Barcelona captain Lionel Messi on the pitch is a sight to behold as well, with the Argentine evidently relishing playing with him.

#1 Ansu Fati | Barcelona | €80m

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander

Ansu Fati broke onto the scene during 2019-20 as one of the most exciting young talents in European football. The winger was drafted into the senior side due to a raft of injuries but it proved to be a masterstroke as Fati settled into the first team with utter ease. Fearless, energetic, and an unerringly good finisher, Fati was a breath of fresh air for Barcelona, scoring seven goals in his first 11 league starts.

Much was expected of the 18-year-old's second season alongside Lionel Messi and co, but Fati, unfortunately, picked up a season-ending injury. He ruptured his internal left meniscus against Real Betis back in November 2020.

After an astonishing four surgeries in the span of six months, Fati has finally begun his recovery and is expected to return to Barcelona's pre-season campaign fully fit. Spain will hope for him to lead their line for years to come once he gets his promising career back on track.

Also read: Top 5 goalscorers in La Liga this season (2020-21)

Edited by Sai Teja


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