Analyzing the collective insurable value of soccer players, Lloyd’s of London* predicts that France will be the winner of the 2018 World Cup, which will be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15, 2018. The research, which was conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), also reveals that Germany will fail to retain its World Cup title.


The total collective value of all teams in this year’s tournament is estimated at £13.1 billion ($17.5 billion), said Lloyd’s and Cebr. A similar analysis conducted ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup correctly predicted that Germany would be victorious.


When asked why Lloyd’s and Cebr have embarked on the analysis, a Lloyd’s spokesman said, “It’s just a bit of fun, really.”


In its ranking of teams in this year’s FIFA World Cup, Lloyd’s said a snapshot of the research shows that three countries have the most expensive teams in terms of insurable value: France’s team has an insurable value of £1.4 billion ($1.9 billion), England has an insurable value of £1.17 billion ($1.6 billion) and Brazil has an insurable value of £1.1 billion ($1.5 billion).


The research shows that the average insurable value of one England player is more than the entire Panama squad.


The research also provides insight into the average insurable values of players:


Forwards are the most valuable players – their legs are worth £19.2 million ($25.7 million) on average.


Midfielders have the largest share of total squad insurable value (38 percent).Players aged between 18-24 years old have on average the highest insurable value at £20 million ($26.8 million).


Group G, which includes Belgium, England, Panama and Tunisia, has the highest insurable value at over £2.3 billion ($3.1 billion), according to the analysis.


Colombia, Japan, Poland and Senegal will battle it out in the “Group of Death” for a place in the knockout stages – with just £26.5 million ($35.5 million) separating the three teams in terms of valuation, Group H will be the most competitive in the tournament.


Cebr used players’ wages and endorsement incomes, alongside a collection of additional indicators, to construct an economic model which estimates players’ incomes until retirement. These projections formed the basis for assessing insurable values by player age, playing position and nationality.


The analysis enabled Lloyd’s to predict who would qualify from their respective groups. Thereafter, Lloyd’s has plotted the path of each team in the knockout stages based upon their insurable values. The team with the highest insurable value in each match is the team Lloyd’s predicts to win and progress.


The research was supported by Sporting Intelligence, which provided anonymized footballer salary data for each of the 32 teams participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, based upon an indicative 30-man squad for each nation.


“Our model correctly predicted the winner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup so we wanted to put it to the test once again,” said Victoria De’Ath, Lloyd’s Class of Business. “The analysis makes interesting reading for football fans who are preparing for the most popular and widely viewed sporting event in the world.”


“The contrast between the teams at the top and bottom in terms of insurable value is staggering, with the top six national teams worth more than the other 26 combined. We can’t wait to see if some teams can defy the odds and make it through, and if the favorites can prove their worth.”


* Lloyd’s said this information is provided for general interest only and should not be relied upon as the basis for predicting the future.


Source: Lloyd’s