The transfer market says Spain should win the 2010 World Cup, according to UniCredit Group.
The CHART OF THE DAY ranks leading football teams in terms of the combined transfer value of their players. Spain tops the list at 650 million euros ($787 million), followed by England, France and Brazil. The World Cup begins in South Africa today.
“The strength of a team is best reflected in the transfer value of its players,” said Andreas Rees, an economist at UniCredit in Munich. “The higher the price of a player, the greater the assessment of his football skills.”
The values of Cameroon, Portugal and Argentina would suffer the most through injury to their leading players. The loss of Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o or Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo would lessen their teams’ worth by more than 25 percent, while a Xavier Hernandez injury would reduce Spain’s value by 10 percent, UniCredit said. Losing Michael Ballack cut Germany’s value by 6.4 percent.
Assuming the transfer bourse, like any market, can be distorted by speculative forces, UniCredit compared the transfer value of each team with its FIFA world ranking. Spain’s value is in line with its FIFA placing, Brazil is “massively undervalued” and England is “clearly overvalued,” Rees said.