Benfica’s defensive starlet Antonio Silva tops ranking of young players by value

CIES logo

September 1 – Benfica’s 2003-born Antonio Silva tops a ranking of young player valuations, according to a new report from the CIES Football Observatory which ranks the top 100 players born 2002 or later.

The Portugal-born central defender has a market value of €102 million according to the CIES valuation. So far, the young defender has played every minute of Benfica’s 2023/24 league campaign after a breakout season last term saw him play almost 2,700 minutes.

He is one of only two players from the Liga Portugal to feature on the list, and the only player from the division to make the top 50.

Antonio Silva also placed third in CIES Football Observatory’s list of most promising defensive centre backs in December 2022, behind Castello Lukeba, who recently signed for RB Leipzig to replace City-bound Josko Gvardiol, and Jesus Orozco of Deportivo Guadalajara.

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Georgiy Sudakov takes second place following a stellar league campaign last term where the 20-year-old scored 5 and assisted 8 from midfield.

Barcelona’s new recruit Vitor Roque is in fourth place, which CIES say is an impressive ranking for a player born in 2005. New La Masia product Yamine Lamal, who was born in 2007, has featured heavily in the Blaugrana’s start to the LaLiga campaign but is not present on the list due to the recency of his breakthrough.

The comprehensive list also features four EFL Championship players, the most of any nation’s second tier, including Leeds wantaway Willy Gnonto. The winger scored twice and assisted on four occasions as Leeds limped to a relegation place in May to conclude a three-year stint in the Premier League. CIES value the young Italian at €41 million.

The rankings are established based on the players whose level of experience accumulated over the past year puts them in the best position to successfully take their careers to the next level.

To see the full ranking go to

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1696219809labto1696219809ofdlr1696219809owedi1696219809sni@g1696219809niwe.1696219809yrrah1696219809