The ninth edition of the annual football review has estimated the Argentina international's value at £161.5million ahead of second-placed Ronaldo on £85.2m and Liverpool's Luis Suarez, whose worth is put at £79.4m.
Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Messi's Barcelona team-mate Neymar complete the top five, valued at £61.2m and £50.6m respectively.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo's Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale comes in at seventh, valued at £50.9m, almost £30m less than the world-record £80.6m fee Real Madrid paid Tottenham for the Wales international's services last year.
Colombia striker Radamel Falcao and Argentina winger Erik Lamela have seen their values fall by more than 50 per cent since completing transfers 12 months ago.
Falcao joined Monaco for £48.4m from Atletico Madrid last season and is now worth £22.7m, according to the study, while Lamela, who joined Tottenham for a fee of £28.2m from Roma, is valued at £13.6m.
The 96-page publication also found Real Madrid fielded the most expensive starting line-up ever during their successful 2013/2014 UEFA Champions League campaign with average transfer expenditure per player of over £24m.
By contrast, La Liga winners and Champions League runner-ups Atletico Madrid had average transfer fees of just £3.2m per player.
The CIES Football Observatory uses a database that has been developed since 2005 and will disclose their 2014 World Cup predictions based on their formula within the next week.
@Chopper, my point is the fact that people call other players ... Messi, is proof that he is the best player on Earth today and not C. Ronaldo. I don't think it has anything to do with how easy a name is to pronounce. Personally I rate Messi higher, his skills, technique and just all round footballing ability is much greater than Ronaldo's, whereas a large part of Ronaldo's game is based purely on physicality and strength which when he didn't possess that for the first couple of years at United he was ineffective, he only became a beast when he became a beast physically. Secondly I feel United fans only laud him because he played at United, if he had never signed for them then I think most United fans would say Messi was the better player.- lfcfan80