Foot­ballers driv­ing an easy bar­gain

IN­TER­NA­TIONAL NEWS/ New re­search shows just how long some of the world’s top soc­cer play­ers would have to play to pay off their car

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - Mo­tor News Re­porter

In these tough eco­nomic times, it’s al­ways in­ter­est­ing (and per­haps a lit­tle galling) to see there are those who are not af­fected. We’re not talk­ing about politi­cians or their friends, but rather foot­ballers who seem im­mune to eco­nomic con­di­tions.

IM­PRESS OR DEPRESS

This might im­press you or it might depress you, but a study out of Europe de­tails the cars foot­ballers own and how many min­utes of play it takes to pay for them — yes, min­utes.

UK on­line used car deal­er­ship Car­spring has re­searched the ve­hi­cles driven by more than 250 of the world’s lead­ing foot­ball play­ers, in­clud­ing a num­ber of South Africans.

With this in­for­ma­tion, along with the es­ti­mated salaries of each player, the com­pany was able to cal­cu­late how many min­utes of game time each player would have to play to pay off the value of their ve­hi­cle. In ad­di­tion, the study shows an in­ter­est­ing cor­re­la­tion be­tween ve­hi­cle type and the player’s po­si­tion on the field.

To de­ter­mine the ve­hi­cles driven by each player along with their es­ti­mated salaries, hun­dreds of news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, so­cial me­dia out­lets, fan clubs, mes­sage boards and other re­sources were re­viewed.

Ve­hi­cle val­ues were sourced from the coun­try in which the ath­lete plays, with prices taken from deal­er­ships or, in the case of more unique ve­hi­cles, of­fi­cial sites for each man­u­fac­turer.

To cal­cu­late the play­ing time needed to pay for their car, the player’s an­nual salary ex­clud­ing bonuses was di­vided by the num­ber of games played in their re­spec­tive league. From this, a salary per minute could be cal­cu­lated.

CORRELATIONS

“At Car­spring the one thing we love as much as cars is foot­ball,” says Car­spring’s co-founder Max­i­m­il­ian Vol­len­broich.

“The fact play­ers drive amaz­ing cars was to be ex­pected; nev­er­the­less, it is in­ter­est­ing there are correlations be­tween their po­si­tion on the pitch and the type of car they drive.”

True, the po­si­tion in which an ath­lete plays ap­pears to have an ef­fect on the type of ve­hi­cle he will buy. Those who play in de­fen­sive po­si­tions have a higher chance of own­ing a sport util­ity ve­hi­cle, while those up­front own the flashier sports cars.

Of the 10 play­ers with the most ex­pen­sive cars, five play in mid­field and four in at­tack po­si­tions, while of the 10 play­ers with the cheap­est cars, four are de­fend­ers and two goal­keep­ers.

Some 256 play­ers were re­searched and 100 of them can pay off their car in less than the time it takes to play just one full game.

“At one end of the spec­trum, Manch­ester City’s Je­sus Navas could pay for his mod­est Nis­san Mi­cra in less than 11 min­utes on the field. De­spite be­ing worth more than $15.5m, Navas shows that big money doesn’t al­ways mean big wheels,” says Peter Baum­gart, an­other Car­spring co­founder.

“At the other end, Burn­ley’s ex­trav­a­gant Ge­orge Boyd drives around in a clas­sic Mercedes 300SL worth about $970,000. Just over 30 games are needed to pay for this lux­u­ri­ous car.”

In all but one case, the value of the player ex­ceeded the value of the car. That one case? John Terry, whose Fer­rari 275 GTB is worth dou­ble his value.

Five South Africans ap­pear on the list. Of these Mpho Makola of Or­lando Pi­rates would have to play four and a half games to pay off his Volk­swa­gen Golf GTi, while Kgotso Moleko of Kaizer Chiefs has to play for 20 hours and five min­utes to pay off his BMW 135i con­vert­ible.

There are, of course, some big in­ter­na­tional names with cars to match.

Lionel Messi has a car to match his speed in the form of a Fer­rari F430 Spi­der. How long does he have to play to pay for it? Just 31 min­utes and 32 sec­onds.

Manch­ester United’s Wayne Rooney has to play for 50 min­utes 36 sec­onds to pay off his As­ton Martin Van­quish S, but then there is Cris­tiano Ron­aldo. He has to play for a full five hours and 15 min­utes to pay off his car — but then it is a Bu­gatti Vey­ron Grand Sport Vitesse so it is worth five hours’ work.

Do any foot­ballers green cars?

Riyad Mahrez of Le­ices­ter and Jef­frey Schlupp of Crys­tal Palace are green and sporty with their BMW i8s.

Phil Jagielka of Everton drives a Vaux­hall (Opel) Am­pera plug-in hy­brid which he can pay for by play­ing just half a match.

But the real eco-war­rior is some­thing of a sur­prise — Joey drive Bar­ton, who is not ex­actly known for his po­lite man­ners and dis­ci­pline, can pay off his Toy­ota Prius in 28 min­utes.

POP­U­LAR CHOICES

Fer­rari seems to be the most pop­u­lar foot­baller choice, with 25 play­ers own­ing one, but what is often per­ceived to be the foot­baller’s favourite, the Range Rover, comes a close sec­ond with 24 on the list.

Lam­borgh­ini is the third most pop­u­lar with 22 fol­lowed by 20 Porsches, 19 Bent­leys and four Rolls-Royces.

Now you know, we will see you at soc­cer prac­tice.

FER­RARI SEEMS TO BE THE MOST POP­U­LAR FOOT­BALLER CHOICE, WITH 25 PLAY­ERS OWN­ING ONE. RANGE ROVER IS SEC­OND MANCH­ESTER CITY’S JE­SUS NAVAS COULD PAY FOR HIS NIS­SAN MI­CRA IN LESS THAN 11 MIN­UTES ON THE FIELD

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