Lloyd’s backs Les Blues

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Lloyd’s is looking to score a research winner as it predicts France will capture the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The market has released the results of its collaboration with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) in ranking teams in this year’s FIFA World Cup based on the collective insurable value of players.

As such It puts France in pole position to lift the trophy next month and it comes after a similar research product in 2014 correctly predicted a German triumph in the competition.

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.

The total collective value of all teams in this year’s tournament is estimated at £13.1 billion, according and France (£1.4bn), England (£1.17bn), Brazil (£1.1bn) have the three most expensive teams in terms of insurable value. It found 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 £26.5 million 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.

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.

Victoria De’Ath, Lloyd’s Class of Business Manager, said: “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.”