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Those squads now in Brazil? They're worth a total S$6.6 billion
[SINGAPORE] Got just under S$6.6 billion to spare? That's the astounding amount one would need to fork out to buy the entire squad of players that are now in Brazil for the World Cup.
The 736 players from 32 countries are not only the world's best footballers, but also among the most expensive talent the sport has seen.
Based on the most recent transfer prices, they are collectively worth £3.13 billion, or about S$6.57 billion at today's exchange rates.
It's not that big of a surprise to see Brazil's 23-man team topping the chart with a combined value of £407 million, especially with the recent news of French league champion Paris Saint-Germain agreeing to pay Chelsea a whopping £50 million for defender David Luiz.
A large chunk of Brazil's total is also thanks to striker Neymar, the young Barcelona star who joined the Catalans last year for a fee believed to be worth over £71 million.
The reigning World Cup champion, Spain, is second on the list with its total of £315.2 million.
Head coach Vicente del Bosque has the luxury to call upon some of the planet's priciest players, including the likes of Chelsea's Fernando Torres (£50 million), Manchester United's Juan Mata (£37 million) and Manchester City's David Silva (£23 million).
It may surprise some to see Belgium sitting pretty in third, given that it has never won a World Cup or European Championship in its history.
Still, there are those who believe this star-studded squad, worth £222.7 million, could be the tournament's dark horse.
Marc Wilmots' side, which begins its campaign on Day 5 against Algeria, has many household names such as English Premier League stars Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard, Romelo Lukaku and Adnan Januzaj.
As for perennial underachievers England, the squad adds up to £179.6 million, behind heavyweights Portugal, Argentina and France but just ahead of rivals Germany.
And what of the "cheapest" squad that is on show in Brazil? That would be Iran, whose 23 players are valued at a paltry £3.6 million by comparison.
This could be due to several factors, such as some players remaining with their boyhood clubs throughout their careers, moving to other teams on a free transfer, or being involved in a swap deal.
Transfer fees aside, the amount of wealth that will take to the pitch over the 64 World Cup matches is staggering, to say the least.
Earlier this week, Wealth-X - a Singapore-based ultra high net worth intelligence and prospecting firm - released its list of the ten richest players competing in the event.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who plies his trade for Portugal and Real Madrid, is king of the crop with an estimated net worth of US$230 million - nearly a quarter of the combined net worth of the entire top ten.
England has three representatives on the Wealth-X list - Wayne Rooney (US$95 million), Frank Lampard (US$60 million) and Steven Gerrard (US$55 million), while Spain has just one, Torres, who has an estimated net worth of about US$50 million.
But what of the coaches, the men responsible for leading their charges into battle at each match en route to the July 13 final?
Russia's Fabio Capello is the most well-paid of all 32 national team coaches, with the Italian drawing an annual salary of £7 million.
English coach Roy Hodgson, who is the next biggest earner, draws just half that amount, or £3.5 million. Third is Cesare Prandelli who is paid £2.57 million a year for his services to the Italian team.
Don't blame Mexico's coach Miguel Herrera if he feels a tad envious after seeing those numbers. He has the unwanted distinction of being the lowest earner at the World Cup at just £125,000. Russia's Capello, by comparison, takes less than a week to earn that very amount.