There may not be an answer for who is THE best in the world – though everyone who follows the sport can identify the two individuals in contention – there is an answer for who is the most economically viable in the world. Taking strikers as an example, below we have compiled a list comparing goals to transfer value and applied it to a few names (Messi, Ronaldo, Muller, Lewandowski, Hazard, Rooney) to get a better sense of who has the best goal economy.
- Wayne Rooney
Since his transfer from Everton over ten seasons ago for $25.6 million, Rooney has amassed 230 goals in all campaigns. A few Prem trophies as well, five altogether. With an average of 21 goals per season, Rooney’s goals have thus far cost United about $111,304 each. A permanent seat at the top of United’s attack would serve Rooney’s goal economy well.
- Eden Hazard
Hazard left Lille for Chelsea three seasons ago for $32 million. The attaching midfielder has since scored 48 goals in all competitions though has yet to win a trophy. Averaging 16 goals per season, each of Hazard’s goals has cost Chelsea the upwards of $666,666. The Belgian needs a few more seasons and goals under his belt.
- The BVB Robert Lewandowski
As he is currently completing his first season with Munich we elected to only look at his time with Borussia Dortmund. After his $4.5 million move to BVB from Lech Poznan, Lewandowski plundered 103 goals in all competitions over four consecutive seasons. His goals fueled BVB’s back-to-back Bundesliga trophies. Averaging 25 goals per season, each of Lewa’s goals hit the back of the net to the tune of $43,689 each. Very good business.
- Thomas Müller
Unlike most of his peers on this list, Müller moved up through the ranks of the Bavarian footballing giant costing the club essentially nothing. Over seven seasons he has amassed 120 goals in all competitions. As we are comparing transfer cost to goals to produce a cot-per-goal figure, Müller is quite interesting. Bayern paid nothing for his services beyond wages et. al. From a certain perspective, his goals actually added value to the club as they came at no cost. He averages 17 goals per season. Excellent business.
- Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo left United to Madrid for a fee of $80 million. In six seasons he has managed to score 302 goals in all competitions – a mind-blowing 50 goals per season on average. Ronaldo has the highest transfer value of anyone on this list, a figure which is reflected in his cost-per-goal amount of $264,900. Definitely offset by his price tag, but given his contributions to Real’s success, more palatable than you’d think, right?
- Lionel Messi
Like Müller, Messi also moved through Barca’s youth system La Masia to arrive at his present position as the most successful player in the history of the club if not Spain or even the world. In his 11 seasons in the La Liga giant’s first squad Messi has shifted 401 goals. An average of 36 goals a season – less than Ronaldo only because of his less dominant seasons as a youngster. And like Müller, the Argentine’s services come at a cost of only his wages…which are like Ronaldo perhaps the highest in the game. Compared to Wayne Rooney – also in his 11th season with United – at the same transfer fee of $25.6 million, Messi’s cost per goal figure is $63,840. Only a bit more than BVB Lewa. Hand over first perhaps the best business a club has ever done. Transforming a youth player through the ranks of the club and into a global superstar and perhaps the best player in the history of the game is…well…priceless.