As we begin a new year, it’s only right that we take a step back and review everything that unfolded over the previous 12 months. Like all aspects of society, football was heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with all levels of the game forced to take an extended break just as the 2019-20 season was entering the home straight.
When the players returned to the pitch, they did so in front of empty stadia, but there was still plenty of thrilling action for fans to get their teeth into as millions of us watched on from the comfort of our own homes.
There’s no doubt that 2020 was a crazy year for the beautiful game, with plenty of winners and losers along the way. But who were the most valuable players on Football Index? Who earned major Dividends for their on-field performances and their media attention? This is your rundown of the most valuable football players on the Index in 2020.
Fernandes Flying High
No man had a greater impact on any team in 2020 than Bruno Fernandes for Manchester United. Having arrived from Sporting CP in January, he almost single-handedly dragged a stumbling side to third place and Champions League qualification. Not only that, but he finished as the Europa League’s top scorer with eight goals as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men made it to the semi-finals.
Three of those strikes were in a United shirt, contributing to an overall output of 26 goals and 17 assists in the calendar year for the Red Devils. All of which contributed to Fernandes being the most valuable player on Football Index in 2020 with total Dividends of £4.11 per Share. And he picked up right where he left off to start 2021, netting the winner from the penalty spot against Aston Villa to be crowned Star Player on New Year’s Day.
Messi the Match Day King
While Fernandes thrust himself into the limelight with his displays in 2020, the man who finished the year as the Match Day Dividend leader has been performing at the pinnacle of the world game for a decade and a half. It’s not been an easy 12 months for Lionel Messi, featuring an 8-2 Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich followed by the media storm that surrounded his declaration that he wanted to leave Barcelona.
Despite all that, the little magician is still undoubtedly one of the most valuable football players on the planet. His all-round displays helped Traders pick up £1.70 per Share – comfortably clear of nearest rival Joshua Kimmich (£1.18). And for those who like to draw comparisons between the two greatest players of this generation, Cristiano Ronaldo earned £0.97 per Share in Match Day Dividends – not bad for a man nearing his 36th birthday.
Goals Galore for Lewy and Lukaku
Of course, when it comes to In-Play Dividends, goals are the most valuable currency. And few found the net with as much regularity as Robert Lewandowski and Romelu Lukaku over the past 12 months. The Poland striker smashed in a whopping 45 for his club in the calendar year as Bayern completed the treble with Champions League glory in August, and he surely would have claimed the Ballon d’Or had the award not been cancelled due to the pandemic.
While Lewandowski was not officially recognised as 2020’s star man, he certainly proved one of the best football players to buy Shares in on Football Index, with In-Play Dividends of £1.27 per Share. He was closely followed in that regard by Lukaku (£1.11), who plundered 40 goals for club and country, leading the line for Inter and Belgium with devastating displays of pace, power and precision finishing. He was also named Europa League player of the season and, like Fernandes, started 2021 in style with a goal and an assist in a 6-2 demolition of Crotone.
The Sancho Saga Attracts Media Attention
Of course, on Football Index, there’s more than one way to win. It’s not all about performances on the pitch – Traders have to think about the most valuable football players in terms of attracting media headlines, too. And in 2020, that player was Jadon Sancho. The Borussia Dortmund winger has excelled since making the move to the Bundesliga, and the summer of last year saw him repeatedly linked with a big-money transfer to Manchester United.
The constant gossip, speculation and rumour surrounding that story meant that Sancho picked up major Media Dividends – £2.66 per Share, making him a valuable addition to any Trader’s Portfolio. Two prospective Old Trafford team-mates were not far behind, Fernandes earning an extra £2.26 per Share while Paul Pogba accumulated £1.70 per Share in Media Dividends – thanks mainly to his continual fluttering of eyelashes at Real Madrid.
Neuer and Ramos Prove Class is Permanent
They may be much closer to the end of their careers than the start, but Manuel Neuer and Sergio Ramos proved their enduring class in 2020. The Germany goalkeeper captained Bayern to a treble of Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League while Spain’s skipper popped up with some huge goals in leading Real Madrid to La Liga glory – his fifth league crown at the Santiago Bernabeu.
While usual suspects Messi (26p per Share) and Fernandes (17p) were the most valuable players in terms of Team of the Month earnings, Neuer and Ramos were not far behind on 15p and 13p respectively. An honourable mention here too for Willian who, if choosing a best XI based on Team of the Month Dividends, would feature in a front three alongside Messi and Lewandowski. Not bad at all.
Who Will be the Stars of 2021?
So, there you have a rundown of the most valuable players on Football Index in 2020. But who will be the stand-out performers over the next 12 months? Part of the appeal of the beautiful game is its unpredictability, which means player prices can rise and fall, and being able to predict those fluctuating fortunes is one of the keys to success on Football Index.
The year 2021 is set to be action-packed, with the rearranged European Championships scheduled for the summer, so there are plenty of opportunities ahead. Use Order Books to buy and sell Shares in players and see if you can use your expertise to get ahead of the rest.
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