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Lloyd’s predicts France will win the 2018 FIFA World Cup based on insurable value

Tue 12 Jun 2018

Lloyd’s has predicted that, based on insurable value, France has the most expensive team competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and therefore should be victorious in Russia.

Lloyd’s, the world’s specialist insurance and reinsurance market, today released research with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) ranking teams in this year’s FIFA World Cup based on the collective insurable value of players. The total collective value of all teams in this year’s tournament is estimated at £13.1bn, according to the research.

A snapshot of this year’s research shows that France (£1.4bn), England (£1.17bn), Brazil (£1.1bn) have the three most expensive teams in terms of insurable value and that the average insurable value of one England player is more than the entire Panama squad.

Group G, which includes Belgium, England, Panama and Tunisia, has the highest insurable value at over £2.3bn, 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 £26.5m separating the three teams in terms of valuation, Group H will be the most competitive in the tournament.

Having plotted the teams’ paths right through to the final, Lloyd’s predicts that Germany will fail to retain their title and France will be crowned World Champions. Similar analysis was undertaken by Lloyd’s and Cebr ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup which correctly predicted that Germany would be victorious.

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

  • Forwards are the most valuable players – their legs are worth £19.2m on average.
  • Midfielders have the largest share of total squad insurable value (38%).
  • Players aged between 18-24 years old have on average the highest insurable value at £20m.

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, who provided anonymised 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. 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 favourites can prove their worth.
Victoria De’Ath, Lloyd’s Class of Business
Insurable value league table
Insurable value league table

About Lloyd’s

Lloyd’s is the world’s specialist insurance and reinsurance market.

With expertise earned over centuries, Lloyd’s is the foundation of the insurance industry and the future of it. Led by expert underwriters and brokers in more than 200 territories, the Lloyd’s market develops the essential, complex and critical insurance needed to underwrite human progress.

Backed by diverse global capital and excellent financial ratings, Lloyd’s works with a global network of over 4000 insurance professionals to grow the insured world – building resilience for businesses and local communities and strengthening economic growth around the world.

  • This information is provided for general interest only and should not be relied upon as the basis for predicting the future.
  • For the purposes of this analysis, insurable value is calculated as the discounted sum of player’s future earnings, both from endorsements and from salaries and bonuses. Only earnings from playing football are considered, with income from post-playing career activity excluded. The calculation of insurable value is comprised of:
    - Future salary and bonus income
    - Future endorsement income
    - Real wage inflation
  • Future endorsement income was estimated based on the historical relationship between endorsement income and player salaries.
  • Real wage inflation was estimated based on evidence from historic wage data across five major international football leagues, expert input from Sporting Intelligence, consumer price inflation projections and the timings of television rights renewals.
  • The analysis was supported by anonymised footballer salary data for each of the 32 teams participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Endorsement data were sourced from various public sources, including the Forbes rich list.
  • Throughout the analysis, future earnings were discounted at a rate of 10% in order to account for the uncertainty inherent in projecting player income progressions, thus placing a greater weight on present income.