Spain has produced some of the best players of the 21st century. They won the UEFA Euro 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012. La Roja was at times unplayable during this golden era.
The Spanish national team has won one World Cup and three Euros (1964, 2008 and 2012). They are renowned for their tiki-taka style of play, which was in full force during the 2008-2012 period of dominance.
Spain have given the world some of the best midfielders
To be successful in a possession-based playing style, it is of utmost importance to have world-class midfielders. Spain had the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas, David Silva, etc. during their glory days.
Check out how many of their current midfielders are among their five most valuable players.
#5 Ansu Fati (Barcelona) - €60 million
Ansu Fati made his Barcelona debut in 2019 at the age of 16. Although he has struggled with injuries over the last few years, Fati is still considered one of the best talents in world football. The winger holds a market value of €60 million.
Despite making his debut more than two years ago, Fati has played just 53 times for the Catalan giants. The left-winger has aggregated 18 goals and six assists in those matches. He has five goals and one assist in ten games in all competitions this term.
Fati is among the most valuable Spanish players. However, he isn’t a regular starter. The Bissau-born footballer has only four caps for La Roja, during which he has scored and assisted one goal apiece. Fati hasn’t made an international appearance since 2020.
#4 Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid) - €60 million
Marcos Llorente is one of three central midfielders to make this list. The 27-year-old is a versatile footballer who can also play at right-back or in right-midfield. Due to the abundance of talent Spain possess in the middle of the park, Llorente has often played as a right-back.
Llorente is valued at €60 million, primarily due to the years left on his contract, which ends in 2027. The Atletico Madrid midfielder’s most prolific campaign came last season. He scored 12 goals and provided 11 assists in 37 La Liga appearances.
Overall, he has 18 goals and 20 assists in 111 matches for the Colchoneros. The former Real Madrid player has 13 caps at international level. His immense versatility should ensure his place in the national squad for a long time.
#3 Rodri (Manchester City) - €70 million
Rodri is among the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League. The Manchester City destroyer has done a fabulous job in replacing Fernandinho. His omission in last season’s UEFA Champions League final resulted in a loss, further showing his importance to the club.
The Spanish holding midfielder has a market value of €70 million. This makes him the third-highest valued defensive midfielder, only behind Joshua Kimmich (€85 million) and Declan Rice (€75 million). Rodri has earned 31 caps for his national side thus far.
The Manchester City number 16 has played 138 matches for Pep Guardiola’s side. He has made several vital contributions to the reigning Premier League champions, including his late goal against Arsenal and his goal-saving block against Liverpool this term.
#2 Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad) - €70 million
Mikel Oyarzabal burst onto the scene in 2015 and has established himself as one of the most consistent players in La Liga ever since. Still only 24, Oyarzabal has already racked up 272 appearances for the Real Sociedad first team.
The left-winger has 79 goals and 49 assists to his credit at the club level. Despite being known for his creativity, Oyarzabal has a knack for scoring goals as well. He has scored ten or more La Liga goals in each of the last four campaigns and is just one goal away from hitting that mark this term.
The Spaniard has played 21 times at the international level, scoring six times and assisting thrice. Primarily a left-winger, Oyarzabal is also comfortable on the right flank as well as in attacking midfield. Top European clubs should be vying for his signature as his contract expires next summer.
#1 Pedri (Barcelona) - €80 million
Pedri enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2020-21. Despite being his first season in the first team, the 19-year-old played a whopping 52 matches for Barcelona. He starred for Spain at Euro 2020 and won the Young Player of the Tournament.
Pedri is valued at €80 million, which is a testament to his rise to prominence. To put things into perspective, the central midfielder was valued at just €7.20 million a couple of years ago. The 2021 Golden Boy is now the highest valued player for club and country.
The Las Palmas academy graduate has accumulated 12 appearances for La Roja. In his relatively short career at Barcelona, Pedri has already participated in 70 matches. The Catalan star will be a key player in bringing the glory days back to Camp Nou.