They say money can't buy happiness, but what it can buy is an absolutely loaded soccer team. French magazine "France Football," in partnership with CIES Football Observatory, has revealed the world's most expensive players, via Sport. The final total comes out to a whopping €1.1 billion, so break out the piggy bank. Based on a traditional 4-3-3 formation, which players would make up the priciest starting XI based on the calculated market value? There's one omission up top that might surprise a few folks.
GK: David de Gea, Man United (€58 million)
In goal for the world's most expensive XI would be Man United shot-stopper David de Gea. The 26-year-old Spaniard edged out Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer, valued at €54 million.
DEF: Marquinhos, PSG (€47 million)
After a handful of seasons biding his time on the bench, Marquinhos has become a full-time starter for Paris St. Germain. The 22-year-old Brazilian is a stout center back both in Ligue 1 and Champions League for PSG.
DEF: Raphael Varane, Real Madrid (€50 million)
A versatile defender, Varane can slot in at defensive midfield in a pinch but is a true force as a center back. At age 23, the Frenchman still hasn't reached his ceiling.
DEF: Leonardo Bonucci, Juventus (€50 million)
Juventus stalwart Bonucci is the "old head" on the most expensive XI defense. Still, he's only 29 years old and has plenty of good years ahead.
DEF: Aymeric Laporte, Athletic Bilbao (€48 million)
A fractured leg kept Laporte on the shelf in 2015/16, but he's still one of the brightest young defensive prospects in the world. The 22-year-old Frenchman has bounced back from the injury and is a consistent starter for Athletic.
MID: Marco Verratti, PSG (€72 million)
Another PSG man making the team, 24-year-old Marco Verratti slides in at one of the three midfield spots.
MID: Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool (€75 million)
Coutinho has been a revelation since arriving at Liverpool from Inter in 2013, scoring and assisting seemingly at will. It's no surprise to see the 24-year-old valued so high.
MID: Paul Pogba, Man United (€125 million)
Man United broke the transfer record when they pried the uber-talented Pogba from Juventus this summer, so it stands to reason the 23-year-old makes the most expensive XI.
FWD: Lionel Messi, Barcelona (€190 million)
Just like on the actual market, the biggest bucks for the most expensive XI are spent in the attacking band. Messi is closing in on 30 years old, but he's still as valuable as ever.
FWD: Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid (€135 million)
Griezmann finished second for UEFA's Best Player in Europe Award, behind Cristiano Ronaldo. The 25-year-old has eyes on the Ballon d'Or, and he's not far off.
FWD: Neymar, Barcelona (€250 million)
Neymar rounds out the attacking front three, which omits Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo (valued at €130 million). Neymar, 24, is the most valuable player in the world according to the research. Based on the Brazilian's numbers so far in his young career, it's hard to argue.