The World Cup!

by A.J. Coltrane

The best quadrennial event is here again!

TV Schedule.


Monday, June 16 at 3pm, Ghana [ESPN]

Sunday, June 22 at 3pm, Portugal [ESPN]

Thursday, June 26 at 9am, Germany [ESPN]

The DVR will be getting a workout!


For fun, Bill Barnwell’s Grantland piece about transfer values of teams and players. (Transfer values are how much one team would need to pay another to assume a player’s contract.)

A couple of snippets-

Most valuable teams:

Team Rank Value Avg Value
Spain 1 $919,564,800 $39,981,078
Germany 2 $777,638,400 $33,810,365
Brazil 3 $691,152,000 $30,050,087
Argentina 4 $578,793,600 $25,164,939
France 5 $560,683,200 $24,377,530

The Spanish players are worth nearly 1 billion dollars in aggregate. The USA is 26th at $85 millon. Total.

Most valuable players, relative to the least valuable teams:

Player/Team Value
Ivory Coast $180,438,720
Lionel Messi $177,408,000
Cameroon $173,735,520
Bosnia and Herzegovina $169,948,800
Cristiano Ronaldo $147,840,000
Japan $144,883,200
Mexico $142,716,000
Ghana $142,450,560
Nigeria $128,399,040
Greece $118,120,800
Ecuador $91,022,400
NeymarEdinson Cavani $88,704,000
USA $85,448,160

An especially relevant Barnwell quote:

Maybe Jurgen Klinsmann is right. For all the chatter about Klinsmann dropping Landon Donovan for the promise of Julian Green, this isn’t a particularly young United States team, as the U.S. side heading to Brazil is the 12th-oldest of the 32. It’s also not a side teeming with valuable properties. The team’s two most valuable players are Clint Dempsey ($10.3 million) and Michael Bradley ($9.6 million), each of whom have returned to North America over the past 12 months. The third is Jozy Altidore ($8.8 million), who was a disaster this season after Sunderland paid $13 million for him, scoring just once in the Premier League before being supplanted by Connor Wickham and sent to the youth team. Tim Howard is 35. Jermaine Jones is 32. And Transfermarkt doesn’t see younger talents like Green ($840,000) and DeAndre Yedlin ($420,000) as worth much yet. You may disagree, and a few players may emerge as more valuable properties if the U.S. makes it out of the group stage, but this just isn’t a very valuable U.S. team.

According to the piece the average age of the starting 11’s is… well, here:

Five youngest: Belgium (25.2), South Korea (25.6), Nigeria (25.7), Ghana (26.0), Germany. Five oldest: Ivory Coast (30.4), Portugal (29.3), Honduras (29.2), USA (29.1), Iran (29.1). AT LEAST WE’RE YOUNGER THAN YOU, HONDURAS!

I’d expect the USA team to get younger over the next couple of World Cups as new talent is infused into the roster. We’ll know that the USA is going to be competitive when the average age is closer to 27, rather than 29. (Which is basically what we talked about in the May, 2010 CSE post “Beer Leagues and Major Leagues“.)


More stuff:

Barnwell’s piece on the youngest players at the World Cup. It’s soccer’s future (and present) stars. I’ll be paying special attention to them, assuming that they get on the field. Neymar is #15, adjusted for the age of the rest of the Brazil squad.

The odds of winning the whole shebang:

Brazil: 7/2
Argentina: 5/1
Germany: 6/1
Spain: 8/1

Belgium: 16/1
Colombia: 22/1
France: 24/1
Italy: 29/1
Netherlands: 29/1
England: 29/1
Uruguay: 31/1
Portugal: 39/1

Chile: 59/1

Russia: 89/1

Switzerland: 129/1
Ecuador: 149/1
Mexico: 149/1
Japan: 189/1
Ivory Coast: 189/1
Bosnia: 219/1

Croatia: 279/1
Ghana: 279/1

USA: 299/1

Nigeria: 309/1
Greece: 359/1

South Korea: 519/1

Australia: 809/1

Cameroon: 999/1
Algeria: 999/1
Iran: 999/1
Costa Rica: 999/1
Honduras: 999/1

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