Valverde, planetary status –

At 24 years old, Valverde is the oldest of the ten players with the highest market value in the world, according to the reference website Transfermarkt. Incredible. It’s even fifth on that list. The German site traverses dozens of data with the algorithms that most clubs on the European continent consider good, although actual transfers generally exceed their reference figures. One hundred million euros is currently the estimated value for the Uruguayan, who has made the final qualitative leap this season and who aspires to become a planetary star during the World Cup in Qatar.

With a stroke of the pen, Valverde has placed himself in that elite of more expensive players in which the succession of names is impressive: Haaland (170 million at 22), Mbappé (160 at 23), Vinicius (120, at 22), Phil Foden (110 at 22), and behind them all with a hundred million, Pedri (19), Bellingham (19), Musiala (19) and Valverde himself. Behind them all, and completing the top-10 with a market value of 90 million, are Gavi (19), Saka (21) and Harry Kane (29).

It is no coincidence that Valverde received rave reviews from his team-mate Kroos lately. “If he continues like this, I don’t see any limits. It’s very, very complete. If at some point he doesn’t see a solution with the ball, he takes the ball and goes straight to the rival goal. I’m a big fan of Valverde I think he will be a world class player for Madrid for at least the next ten years.” The Football Architect says it, his praise is worth gold. And before that, Kroos posted a very revealing tweet about the Uruguayan after the Classic: “Now he is among the three best in the world.”

The Uruguayan has a contract with Real Madrid until 2027. A jewel that the white club guessed with enough time to anticipate its moves. There is only one man in the squad on a long-term contract, Tchouameni, and he has just arrived. Valverde extended in August 2021. It ended in 2025 and Madrid extended it until 2027, showing great confidence in him, which was later confirmed. Valverde was June Calafat’s personal bet when the Brazilian, close to Ronaldo Nazario, was merely an adviser to Florentino Pérez. Today, Calafat is the head of scouting for the white club. Valverde cost only five million and took his first steps at Castilla.

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The Uruguayan is a pillar in the current Real Madrid and anticipates the necessary renewal of the team in which there are still two sacred cows in midfield, Kroos (32) and Modric (37), who will not be in action for much longer. Last season, Valverde started to stand out and this season he scored eight goals and provided four assists. It is the team’s second highest scorer behind Vinicius (the Brazilian has ten).

“What Valverde is doing is strange, he has an impressive shot. And in the physical aspect, his verticality with the ball…”, Ancelotti has said of him. The coach has had a lot to do with his latest explosion. Now Valverde is among the elite.

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