Reverse Moneyball

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Kylian Mbappe, a 18 years old football prodigy, has been dubbed as the next Thierry Henry after a successful performance in the 2016/2017 campaign. If you haven’t pay any attention to football transfer market in the last 2 years, you might be thinking that this kid might worth 30-50 million euros. But guess what, this kid has been marketed for 180 million euros. One hundred and eighty freaking million for a player that might have a chance to become a one season wonder. Guess who is currently in the front of the line to sign him. Yes, it is Real Madrid.

Florentino Perez is the “kryptonite” of the Billy Beane “Superman” to the moneyball approach. If Billy Beane compare price versus performance, then Florentino compare price versus how many income can he get from this player. This guy surely contribute to the inflated player price in the football industry. Four times he break the world transfer record for Figo, Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. The result on the field is not that bad, 5 UCL and 4 La Liga and many other trophies like the several Spanish Cup, Super Cups and Club World Cup. But it is worth the money spent? I don’t think so because that is what you expect after almost 1 billion euros spending. Is it a wrong policy then? I beg to differ because there is more of football than just the result on the field.

You see now, football is not just about the sport anymore. It is also an enormous business industry. Many football club giants has fallen in the last few years because they don’t know how to balance the sport side with the business side, and that is exactly what Florentino Perez good at. He transforms Real Madrid into one of the world largest sports culture by signing a player that not only talented, but also highly marketable. And this have become the reason why Real Madrid have won 3 of the last 4 UCL, big talent combined with very strong business foundation that Florentino Perez has created.

In contrast, Real Madrid started to invested heavily on the youngster in the last 3 years. Florentino cleverly adapted to the inflated market by creating his own “Galactico” by buying some biggest young talents while their price is relatively still cheaper. This is a good bet for Real Madrid as if something wrong happen with the player, than the loss is minimum while if the player turn out to be a superstar, then they just saved millions of euros in transfer. It looks like they have learned from past mistakes such as Owen and Kaka. Surprisingly, this tactics works like wonder as the youngsters able to compete with the senior players under Zidane’s rotation policy.

Now back to the topic of Mbappe, is it worth the bet? They basically have to pay the price of almost 2 Galacticos in exchange of a player that might become one. Surely most of you will think that it is not but Florentino and common sense rarely written on the same sentence. Whatever it might become, Real Madrid still have one of the greatest squad in the world. But this is Real Madrid, where History turned into Legacy, so there is nothing impossible for them.

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