PlayRatings bases all its economic estimates on a rigorous application to the football industry of economic best practices and the use of effective proprietary algorithms. 

Unlike simple comparative estimates, our evaluations are based on a unique economic model that is able to reproduce the market dynamics, focusing on the specific player's and club's peculiarities.

All our evaluations are performed according to the best economic practices,
the UNI EN ISO rules, the IAS/IFRS standards and the principles of efficiency and fairness.




The impact of the performance of a football player is particularly interesting because it is emblematic of a psychological phenomenon related to the unpredictability of the cultural experience. This unpredictability depends on the gap between expectations and implementation or, in more technical terms, the difference between products and results ("output" and "outcome") characteristic of cultural experience.

In the case of football, a player's performance is characterized "ex ante" by some traits related to expectations, such as his participation in a game, his role on the team, the relationship with the other players, the performance considered probable or even just hoped, on the basis of his past record. The same performance is defined "ex post" by the concrete results of his efforts, the number of goals made or contributed to, the visual characteristics and practices of his performance. The higher the expectations of his performance and the smaller the negative difference with the actual performance, the better will be the player's reputation.


Furthermore, the market for the game of football is characterized by the phenomenon of superstars, with very high incomes of a few players, coaches and teams, and levels that often leave amazed those who are unfamiliar with this branch of the show business economy. In line with the modern "network economy", football seems to have turned the sport into a form of cultural enjoyment between reality and fiction, with endless ramifications, strong ties and weak ties, in an increasingly complex and shared network of relationships.

These relationships are increasingly governed by the rules of a new economy, where hyper-connectivity generates at the same time more inclusion and more inequality, more communication between distant poles and higher local insulation, more social integration and greater dangers of racism, in a kind of extreme metaphor of contemporary society and its increasing conflicts.



Human Capital theory, Extended Real Option analysis, Perpetual Inventory method, Dynamic General Economic Equilibrium Modeling, Superstar theory, Football Club Global Index (proprietary), Players and Clubs clustering method (proprietary), Performance indexing and uniqueness (proprietary), Integrated estimation process (proprietary).


Capital Asset Pricing Model, Beta analysis, Waited average cost of capital principle, Discounted expected cash flow method, Montecarlo simulation.


If not provided by our clients, we use the following data: Players' performance (Opta), Player's bio (Opta), Match analysis (Opta), Clubs' achievements (Opta), Popularity (official web sites and social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), Clubs' financials (official club's reports, third party reports, auditors, stock markets, other public information), Others (football leagues, national associations, federations).

We use detailed information through live feeds for the top 33 national competitions and 3 continental competitons, more than 600 clubs and 17K players. In addition we use a less detailed set of data for the remaining 120k players in 5,500 clubs, 120 leagues, 80 countries.


Our methodology considers a wide range of indicators (including the club financial and the market transaction log) and is mainly based on the value of the performance (athletic and popularity), but also builds on the idea that players' worthiness is recognized in different ways by market agents, and is assessed using the same tools used for the economic analysis of investment in other forms of capital.

The peculiarity of the soccer player's market evaluation resides in the fact that a transaction to buy the rights on a particular player typically depends on a "twin" transaction, whereby a different player of the same role was sold. The purchase of a new player thus essentially substitutes for and hopefully improves upon the performance of the player that has been sold. The reason why a player is sold after a period of tenure in a team can be explained by resorting to the concept of human capital as a form of capability. This concept defines values on the basis of a subject's continuity and success in realizing his potential. According to this theory, human capital arises from an endowment of "raw capacities" that can only evolve to yield "excellent actions" if appropriate development is achieved throughout a sufficiently long period of training, exercise and learning.

In order to quantify these concepts, we use a combination of deterministic and stochastic models, the latter based on the theory of real options, which appears to yield the most apt methodology to estimate the potential and uncertain qualities characterizing value creation in the football game industry. We also take into account the "superstar effect" considering each player as a unique product and his value as convex function of multiple factorswhere higher quality is reflected twice and more than proportionally in the value created through price and quantity.

Considered as an asset that contributes to the value of the club, a player is a form of «consumption capital», like an essential factor of production and, at the same time, a consumable item. Its value thus depends jointly on performance and popularity, and on the club's capability to generate revenues using them. Based on these principles, the maximum cost that a club should be willing to pay to acquire a player, as the sum of his contractible transfer price and salary present value, depends on the present value of the expected net cash flow from his performance, on the capital gains (or losses) from his sale, and on the net loss (or gain) from the sale of the player he is expected to substitute. Under the same conditions, similarly we determin the sale price.

The player's transfer price and salary will both depend on the selling versus the buying club market power (number of bidders that would like to buy the player) and on the player's bargaining power versus the buying club.


In order to better reproduce the market functioning, we've built a set of additionaL intruments:


A group of combined indicators summaring the player's performance (relative value, rank and uniquenes).


A classification of more than 6,000 football clubs in 251 clusters based on clubs' hystorical achievements, financials and popularity.


A classification of more than 130,000 football players in 1.021 clusters based on players' hystorical achievements, performances, salary, club's cluster, league relevance and popularity.


An indicator of the player's performance and value volatility obtained by a customization of the BETA theory to the football player market.