Cristiano Ronaldo is worth less than Eden Hazard, but £184m Lionel Messi still leads the way, study finds

Wayne Rooney does not even make the top 100

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The Independent Football

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has been rated as the third-most valuable player in world football, despite failing to score a Premier League goal this season.

The reigning Player of the Year has been terrible for the Blues this season, earning the ire of the supporters for his supposed part in the sacking of popular former manager Jose Mourinho.

But the Belgian, 24, is ranked ahead of current Balon d'Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo, who is fourth, with a current market value of €130.5million (£95.77m), according to football think-tank the CIES Football Observatory.

The Portuguese Ronaldo, 30, is valued at a fair bit less, €114m (£83.66m).

The value means that Hazard, who has been linked with a £100m move to Real Madrid in the January window, trails only Barcelona pair Lionel Messi and Neymar.

Messi, who is odds-on favourite to win the Ballon d'Or for a record fifth time, is valued at a whopping €250.7m (£183.98m) and Neymar at €152.7m (£112.06m).

Here are the top 15 most valuable players, according to the study.

Two England stars make the top 10, with Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling valued at more than Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez, largely because of their age.

England captain Wayne Rooney does not even make the top 100, which means the study values his current price at less than £20m.

The value is worked out thus: 

"CIES Football Observatory transfer value calculator uses an exclusive algorithm created on the basis of nearly 1,500 fee paying transfers which have occurred during the previous five years and which originated at a big-5 league club. The new algorithm will continue to be updated after every transfer window to take into account the latest market trends."