Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez, Neymar and the most expensive team of the Copa America looks at the footballers worth a small fortune who will be playing at the tournament over the next month, with Argentine and Brazilian stars dominating the rich list
As befits the continent that produces more stars than anywhere else on the planet, this year's Copa America will feature a dazzling array of football talent - players who are taking a break from harvesting titles in Spain, Italy, Portugal and England to defend their national colours. These men are considered the cream of the current generation - and in these days of a globalised football market, have price-tags to match.

Argentina and Brazil naturally dominate the list of 11 below, enjoying the most exposure from around the globe which in turn helps raise the value of the players from these footballing powerhouses. The only exceptions are Chile's Alexis Sanchez and Peruvian Juan Vargas, both players having impressed in Serie A last season. presents the highest-valued players that you will be able to watch in Argentina this month, reaching a total sum of €432 million (£390m) - which would make even the richest oil magnate think twice before reaching for the chequebook.

Formation: 4-1-4-1

Goalkeeper – Julio Cesar (Brazil)
Current club: Inter

The Brazilian is established as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and here beats Sergio Romero, Fernando Muslera and David Ospina. The €19m (£17.2m) that his transfer would cost another club comfortably sets him aside as the most expensive number 1 in the tournament.

Defence – Dani Alves (Brazil)
Current club: Barcelona

The highest-valued defender on the planet. After a brilliant season with Barcelona, the Brazilian is now considered the best operator down the right flank in world football. Years of consistent excellence for Barca have led to Alves being priced at no less than €35m (£31.6m).

Defence – Thiago Silva (Brazil)
Current club: Milan

Fresh from a Serie A winning season in Italy where this centre back was one of the stars of the show, Thiago has become one of the most coveted figures of the transfer window. With Barcelona said to be chasing his signature, at least €30m (£27.1m) will be necessary to tempt Milan to sell.

Defence – David Luiz (Brazil)
Current club: Chelsea

The third Brazilian at the back, and proof if any were necessary that the five-time World Cup winners boast a formidable defence along with their expected Samba skills. Luiz arrived at Chelsea for €25m (£22.6m) and is already looking like a potential Blues great.

Defence – Juan Vargas (Peru)
Current club: Fiorentina

As reliable a wing-back as you're likely to encounter, Vargas has been touted as a possible signing for both Juventus and Inter this summer. However, with Fiorentina wanting to hang on to the 27-year-old, they may hold out for as much as €17m (£15.4m) for him.

Defensive Midfield – Javier Mascherano (Argentina)
Current club: Barcelona

A player reborn from the ashes in the second half of the season, the Argentine captain finally won the confidence of Pep Guardiola playing at centre back- an interesting option for Batista in the Copa. Any team who would like to count on the services of the Albiceleste skipper should be ready to pay around €25m (£22.6m) for the privilege.

Midfield – Javier Pastore (Argentina)
Current club: Palermo

The young playmaker may spend much of Copa America on the bench, but in terms of his shop-window value Pastore is definitely first-team material. Palermo president Mauricio Zamparini has been shouting to all that his young gem is worth €50m (£45.2m), but putting our feet back on the ground, €21m (£19m) looks more realistic.

Midfield – Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Current club: Barcelona

The best player in the world will be vital to Argentina's chances if they are to win the Copa on home soil. Yet another sparkling, trophy-laden season has only raised Messi's hypothetical price-tag, and only a staggering bid of around €120m (£108m) would begin to tempt the Catalans.

Midfield – Alexis Sanchez (Chile)
Current club: Udinese

The electrifying attacker set Udinese on their way to Champions League football last season but is not likely to stay around Friuli long enough to feature in that competition for his current employers. Barcelona are determined to land the 22-year-old but will be forced to meet the hefty demands set by Udinese president Giampaolo Pozzo, put at around €50m (£45.2m).

Midfield – Neymar (Brazil)
Current club: Santos

The only South America-based player to make this list, and also the youngest and least experienced internationally. His potential though is limitless, as proved by some sparkling performances in his short career, and  Real Madrid, the club with whom he has been linked for months, will have to pay €45m (£40.7m) to force Santos into a sale.

Forward – Sergio Aguero (Argentina)
Current club: Atletico Madrid

'El Kun' knows all about huge transfer fees, having moved to Spain from Independiente for a rumoured €20m (£18.1m) at the age of just 17. Since then a number of excellent seasons have raised his market value. Atleti have vowed not to sell their prized asset to neighbouring Real Madrid but a bid of €45m (£40.7m) could change their mind.

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Consolidado como uno de los mejores arqueros del mundo, el uno del Inter que cuidará los tres palos del Scatch será el portero más cotizado del certamen superando a Sergio Romero, Fernando Muslera y David Ospina. Los 19.000.000 de euros de su pase lo colocan como las manos más caras de la Copa América.