…now world’s 13th most expensive team

•N70bn Osimhen Nigeria’s most valuable player ever

Following the completion of the FIFA international break, the latest financial rankings released by transfermarkt revealed another upward trajectory in the Super Eagles squad market value, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

The rise in the squad market value saw the three-time African champions move up two steps and now ranked the 13th most valuable international team globally, while also retaining their position in Africa as the most valuable team on the continent.

The Eagles boast players who ply their trade in Europe’s lucrative leagues, making them one of the world’s most valuable teams, with a total value of €347.40m (N261bn).

In March, they were placed 15th with a market value of €338m, but just three months later, the squad’s value witnessed an increase of €9m.

The squad value would have been higher, but the invitation of four home-based players for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sierra Leone didn’t help boost the squad value.

Goalkeepers Olorunleke Ojo (Enyimba) and Victor Sochima (Rivers United0 had zero value placed on them by the football statistics website.

Rivers left-back Ebube Duru and attacking Bendel Insurance midfielder Divine Nwachukwu, who were part of the squad against the Leone Stars, also had no value in the latest update.

However, following some impressive performances by some of the Eagles players, leading to a rise in the market values, the squad’s value shot up.

As expected, the biggest of them is Napoli forward, Victor Osimhen, who according to transfermarkt, has the highest rise between the month of January and May.

His excellent form saw a massive €50m rise in his market value, moving from €70m to €120m, and is now Nigeria’s most valuable player ever.

Atalanta forward, Ademola Lookman, is another player who contributed to the increase in the Eagles’ market value as he currently sits second with a market value of €30m, following his impressive debut season with the Italian club.

In-form Everton midfielder, Alex Iwobi, added €3m to his previous €25m valuation to become Eagles’ third most expensive player with a market value of €28m.

Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, saw yet another drop in his valuation following injury issues in recent seasons.

The 26-year-old  has seen his previous €60m market value dropped to €25m since January, the same value as Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze and Nottingham centre-forward Taiwo Awoniyi.

Kelechi Iheancho and Calvin Bassey are two other players with a drop in their market value as both players are currently valued at €18m each.

While Moses Simon’s market value remains at €9m, other players like Frank Onyeka, Joe Aribo and Sanusi Zaidu all contributed to the growth in the team’s value with a combined value of €27m.

The increase in some of the players’ value put together helped the Eagles move up to 13th place globally, while also ranking as the most valuable team on the continent.

However, the latest rankings saw a drop in Morocco team’s value.

The Atlas Lions, who are the second most valuable African team, witnessed a drop from €306.85m to €303.68m. They are now ranked 15th in the world, compared to the last ranking where they occupied the 14th position.

Senegal moved up eight places to rank 17th most valuable team globally and third in Africa with a squad value of €271.30m.

Ivory Coast are fourth in Africa and 27th globally with a market value of €209.28m, while Ghana are fifth on the continent and 29th in the world.

England retain their position as the most financially valuable team in the world with a market value of €1.18bn, while European champions Italy dropped further from seventh position to eighth.

France retained their second position with a squad value of €1.15bn, while Portugal (€970.50m), Brazil (€910.50m) and Germany (€817.50m) complete the top five in the world.

World Cup winners, Argentina, dropped from fourth position to sixth.

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