Come on England! The biggest football tournament on earth is about to kick off and fans everywhere are going World Cup crazy. Here at Motive HQ we’ve got the flags out and are firmly supporting England.
The choice of host nation for this year’s tournament has led to many negative headlines with much criticism aimed at Qatar for its poor human rights record and discriminatory laws. But now that the tournament is upon us we’re looking beyond the headlines and focusing on a festival of football.
We decided to look at the value of each squad competing for the iconic World Cup trophy and to drill down to compare the value of all the players taking part in today’s football transfer market.
So we went through the squad sheets from all 32 nations competing in the tournament and crunched the numbers to find the total value of each squad. We then ranked the squads from most to least valuable and compared the ranking to their official FIFA world ranking.
Most Valuable Squads
Our research revealed England has the most valuable squad with Harry Kane and the lads having a combined value of £1102.8m - making them the only team in the tournament with a value in excess of one billion pounds!
If money was everything then we should win the World Cup hands down - but as we all know there’s more to football than money alone - perhaps that's why FIFA currently rank us fifth in the world.
Our nearest rival in terms of valuable squads is Brazil who have a combined player value of £995.2m but who enjoy FIFA’s top world ranking when it comes to success on the pitch.
France comes next with a squad worth £933.1m while Portugal, Spain, Germany and Argentina also feature highly when it comes to squad values.
Least Valuable Squads
At the other end of the table Costa Rica are the least valuable team in the tournament. Their entire squad could be bought for only £16.1m - just 1.5% of the value of the England squad.
Hosts Qatar are worth just a little more with a combined squad value of £16.2m putting them close to the foot of the table. That means the England squad are worth 68 times more than Costa Rica or Qatar.
The other home nation taking part in the World Cup is, of course, Wales, with a squad worth £144.1m making them the 22nd most valuable team in the tournament, far below England.
In fact the England squad is worth more than the combined value of 12 nations competing for the trophy.
The combined value of squads from Canada, Wales, South Korea, Ecuador, Cameroon, Japan, Iran, Tunisia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Costa Rica is £1043.6m - or £59.3m less than the England squad.
The way the tournament has been organised to keep the top ranked sides apart also works well in keeping the most valuable squads separated until the later stages.
If football worked on mathematical probability alone we should see an England vs Brazil final on 18 December with a triumphant England team flying home with the trophy just a few days before Christmas.
Looking at our World Cup Team Value Index every England fan can dream of the squad parading the trophy around Trafalgar Square - what a start to the Christmas holiday it would be for England to win their first major tournament since 1966.
But as every England fan knows dreams can turn into nightmares. Even with the most expensive squad in the history of world football only the most dedicated England fan would feel entirely confident of Qatar glory.
How we did it: squad values calculated using TransferMarkt. Graphics and data available for sharing in return for a follow link to this page.