Skip to content

Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

All Thomson Reuters websites use cookies to improve your online experience. They were placed on your computer when you launched this website. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

M&A

World Cup 2018: In football, big names are big business

Some of football's biggest stars are so valuable their contract clauses equal - or swell past - the largest year-to-date businesses transactions in their teams' countries.

Who says football is just a game?

As the FIFA World Cup 2018 gets underway in Russia, the Deals Intelligence team at Thomson Reuters took a look just how valuable some of this summer’s superstar players have become when compared to traditional mergers & acquisitions (M&A) in their home nations, and also rivals in the World Cup.

  • The combined announced M&A activity for 2018 so far of Senegal, Tunisia. Panama, Uruguay, Iran, Croatia, Costa Rica and Iceland (US$973.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters Deals Intelligence data) wouldn’t be enough to afford the reported 1 billion euro (US$1.2 billion) buyout clause that Real Madrid has in place for Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • The total value of all squads at this summer’s tournament is £9.1 billion (US$12.1 billion), which exceeds the M&A activity so far in 2018 of 19 of the 32 countries taking part in the World Cup.
  • The reported buyout clause for Barcelona striker Luis Suarez of 200 million euros (US$234 million) is more than 10 times the value of his native Uruguay’s M&A activity so far in 2018, which stands at US$15 million.
  • Similarly, the reported buyout clause of Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, set at 500m euros (US$586m), is significantly higher than the US$193.3 million value of his native Croatia’s M&A activity so far this year.

There are also some match-ups during the group phase of the World Cup which make for interesting reading when based on M&A activity in certain countries compared to the value of individual players they’re facing:

Argentina v. Croatia – June 21

  • Overall Croatian M&A activity so far in 2018:US$193.3 million
  • Buyout clause of Argentina’s Lionel Messi: Reportedly 700 million euros ($821 million)

Brazil v. Costa Rica – June 22

  • Overall Costa Rican M&A activity so far in 2018: $US284 million
  • Buyout clause of Brazilian footballer Philippe Coutinho: Reportedly 400 million euros (US$469 million)

England v. Panama – June 24

  • Overall M&A activity involving Panama so far in 2018: US$3.2 million
  • Transfer value of England’s John Stones (Everton to Manchester City): Reportedly £47.5 million (US$64 million)

Portugal v. Iran – June 25

  • Overall Iranian M&A activity in 2018: US$21.2 million
  • Buyout clause of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo: Reportedly 1 billion euros (US $1.2 billion)

The M&A value data for the nations is from the Deals Intelligence team at Thomson Reuters. However, the transfer/buyout values of the football players mentioned are reported values and not those of Thomson Reuters. Additionally, the FX rate used to calculate the U.S. dollar value of the transfer/buyout values was calculated  May 24, 2018.


Learn more

Explore Thomson Reuters Eikon and the rest of Answers On’s World Cup coverage.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Google+
  • Email

More answers