All posts by Larry Lopez

REPOST: 30 Most Expensive Football Player Transfers Of All Time

Sports as a whole is a multi-billion-dollar business and in the world of association football (soccer), pricy player transfers are among its many highlights. The most expensive players include superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Paul Pogba. Total Sportek has the full list:

Paul Pogba to Manchester United is the most expensive transfer in the history of football valued at £89 million which broke the previous record of Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid which took place back in 2013. Below is the breakdown of top 30 most expensive transfers of all times.

Top 20 Most Expensive Transfers of All Times

If we take a deeper look into the 20 most expensive tranfer you can see that Real Madrid dominates the list with 7 entries in the top 20 list of transfers while all current top 10 tranfers happened since 2009 and out of top 20 most expensive player transfers only 6 happened before year 2009. Which goes to show that top clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Man City and Chelsea are not afraid to spend big to lure top players.

Update: Manchester United has resigned Paul Pogba from Juventus for a world-record fee of £89 million(€105m) which makes this transfer the most expensive ahead of Gareth Bale and Ronaldo’s Real Madrid moves. Manchester United agreed to pay €105 million plus add on bonuses to Juventus if certain terms are meet in future.

Below is the list of top 25 most expensive transfers of all times. We have used the official transfer fees quoted in GBP.

The biggest clubs in football keep splashing the cash and bring in worlds best players to their club to keep themselves at the very top of football elites. Real Madrid seem to spend big on that one big player every year which is tauted to be the next big thing, they already broke their own record several times when they spend world record fee for a player transfer and Real Madrid’s several transfers feature in the top 20 most expensive player transfers in the history of football.

So today we take a look at the 20 players who cost most money in transfer fee and the average transfer fee for a top player has increased dramatically in the last few years which is pretty evident in the top 10 list of highest transfer fee ever paid by clubs.

These underrated water sports are the next big thing

If your idea of fun and YOLO-ing includes some exciting water activities, then you’re probably one of the millions of thrill seekers who have recently discovered the awesomeness of living life to the fullest by engaging in the worldwide craze on watersports. However, while the likes of surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling have long been popularized by enthusiasts, more and more options have started to emerge in recent years. They may be set in the calm and peaceful natural bodies of water or in the most challenging water-terrain combinations out there.

Image source: marina-hramina.com

Stand-up paddleboarding for instance is one of the newest water events that everyone is talking about—especially because of its semi-unique features that is interestingly confusing: a clever combination of canoeing and surfing. In a stand-up paddle, athletes should stand on a long board while using a paddle to propel and control its movement. This activity can be done either on flat water or in the waves.

Image source: divessi.com

Ever heard of ‘freediving?’ From the name itself, you’ll get the idea how this surreal and somehow ‘expert-level’ sports works. It’s actually more like scuba diving, but without your scuba gear, the oxygen tanks, or any kind of breathing apparatus.  In other words, the ‘freedom’ from the heavy life-saving gears in diving relies on your ability to hold your breath underwater, diving several meters deep.

Image source: newquaywatersportscentre.co.uk

Another underrated watersports that has been recently making headlines is ‘coasteering,’ considered as the art of sea-level traversing. The truth is, this sport has been informally practiced in some European countries with rugged coastline and mountainous terrains like Wales. However, it was only in the 19th century when it became a commercially guided recreational activity. Basically, it’s an activity that requires athletes to move along the intertidal zone of rocky coastlines whether by swimming or on foot—without the help of boards and other water crafts.

Image source: cupexperience.com

In the more luxurious side of water sports, catamaran racing is an old but still growing competition. Designed for the wealthy, it showcases the latest in technological and design innovations in yachting.  At the recent America’s Cup in Bermuda, a major offshore financial center, the world’s most expensive yachts broke many performance records and set the bar higher for the next installment of the race.

REPOST: The World’s Most Valuable Soccer Teams 2017

With devoted fan bases, many soccer (association football) clubs around the world are capable of generating massive profits from TV deals, sponsorship, ticket sales, merchandises, and many other streams of income. It is therefore no wonder that some of the world’s billionaires invest heavily in them. Here are the world’s most valuable teams according to Forbes:

 

Ashley Young, Eric Bailly, Daley Blind and Chris Smalling of Manchester United take selfies with the trophy after the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

 

No soccer team has done as good a job as Manchester United at turning a storied history of success on the pitch into profits.

The Red Devils have won a record 13 titles in the Premier League since the top flight of English soccer was given that name in 1992. During that time Manchester United has also made it to four Champions League finals, winning in 1999 and 2008.

And now for the first time in five years, Manchester United is the world’s most valuable soccer team, worth $3.69 billion. The team’s return to the top spot is a testament to their powerful brand and marketing acumen. Manchester United generated revenue of $765 million during the 2015-16 season, $77 million more than both Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Manchester United brought in $405 million in advertising and sponsorship revenue, more than any other soccer team. And the Red Devils are also by far the most profitable soccer team in the world, posting operating income of $288 million, $107 million more than runner-up Real Madrid. It will not be easy to overtake the Red Devils in the near future: By winning the Europa League this year, Manchester United qualified for the lucrative 2017-18 Champions League.

The world’s most valuable soccer teams are big businesses because of the popularity of their brands and the sport’s unparalleled global audience. The 20 most valuable soccer teams this year are worth an average of $1.48 billion, 3% more than a year ago. Following Manchester United in value are Barcelona ($3.64 billion), Real Madrid ($3.58 billion), Bayern Munich ($2.71 billion) and Manchester City ($2.08 billion).

All revenues and operating income figures in our table are for the 2015-16 season, converted into U.S. dollars based on average exchange rates for the same period. Team values are enterprise values (equity plus net debt) and are based on exchange rates as of April 24. Operating income is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, player trading and disposal of player registrations. Debt includes stadium debt recourse to the team. Most revenue figures are from Deloitte’s Money League report.

The U.S. dollar rose in value relative to the euro during the past year. As a result, while not a single team declined in value year-over-year when measured in euros, nine of the 20 teams decreased in value when priced in U.S. dollars. Measured in euros, the average team value went up 7% during the past year, to 1.37 billion euros.

England dominates our list with seven teams due to the Premier League having the biggest domestic and international television deals. Big thanks to my colleague, Bobby McMahon, for  putting together the table below (term represents the end of season for deals). One-fourth of the distribution of the Premier League’s television money is based on pitch performance.

 

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Most luxurious sports events loved by the super-rich

Most of us love sports and we take pride in the fact that win or lose, we’re loyal fans to our beloved teams. In fact, we sometimes take that once in a lifetime chance to turn off the TV and actually go and see our teams in person – no matter how expensive it is.

Just like ordinary people, the super-wealthy elites also like going to their favorite sporting events and even religiously following their teams wherever the games take them. With all the money in the world, they do this in a rather larger, more luxurious scale. Let’s take a look at some of the most luxurious sports events loved by the super-rich:

AMERICA’S CUP

This year’s America’s Cup is currently being hosted by the majestic subtropical archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda. This billion-dollar sport is a race among state-of-the-art catamarans that depend on high technology and superior human expertise to achieve insane speeds—and win the top trophy from what is known to be the world’s oldest and most prestigious sailing competition. Four-time Olympic champion Sir Ben Ainslie has even considered America’s Cup to be the ‘Formula One racing on water.’

MONACO GRAND PRIX

The uber-wealthy loves their speed and it shows in their presence in the yearly Monaco Grand Prix. This Formula One racing event has been around since 1929 and is known for its infamously narrow course and dangerous elevations. Even for those elites who don’t love racing, the picturesque scenes in Monaco alone can attract any person in the world to this unforgettable event.

DUBAI CUP

The Dubai World Cup may not be the gold standard in the tradition of in Thoroughbred horse racing but their lavish and luxurious take on this competition attracts the mega-wealthy. The keyword is “gold”, and this expensive racing event

REPOST: 7 things to do on Bermuda – the beautiful island that plays host to sailing’s America’s Cup

On the map, Bermuda is just a tiny dot in the middle of the northern Atlantic Ocean. However, this British Overseas Territory is more than just a piece of volcanic island. It is home to gorgeous pink-sand beaches, the headquarters of world-class offshore financial services companies, and currently the host of the 35th America’s Cup. Read Daily Mirror’s article below to know more about this stunning island:

 

Bermuda has plenty to offer (Photo: Getty)

Bermuda is two hours from New York and Miami, but proud of its status as a British Overseas Territory.

Discovered by the Spaniard Juan de Bermudez, it was taken over by Britain in the early 1700s.

It is often considered a Caribbean island and much of the population trace their ancestry back to the region, but it is situated more than 1,000 miles away.

Known for its pink sandy beaches, the temperature rarely drops below the mid-60s Fahrenheit (high teens Celsius), and never rises much above the mid-80s (early 30s Celsius).

Here’s how to make the most of it…

1. Watch the America’s Cup

Sir Ben Ainslie and his BAR team preparing in Bermuda for the America’s Cup (Photo: PA)

Named after America, the yacht that shocked Queen Victoria in 1851 by beating its confident British rival in a race around the Isle of Wight, the contest has never been won by Britain.

Olympic legend Sir Ben Ainslie aims to put that right, although first he must see off competition from Sweden, France, Japan and New Zealand in qualifying races for the right to race defending champions the US.

The catamarans rise up on foils and will speed along at over 50mph. Racing will take place in the Great Sound, as close as you can get to a natural amphitheatre for sailing, with spectators able to watch the America’s Cup not only from the water but all around the shore too.

2. Visit the beach

Welcome to the weekend. 📷:@christoffah #GoToBermuda

A post shared by Bermuda (@bermuda) on

There are plenty to choose from. Bermuda is made up of 181 islands formed by volcanoes in the middle of the Atlantic. Shaped like a fish hook, the main island is less than 21 square miles but has more than 60 miles of coastline.

Famed for its pink sand, there are more than enough golden beaches to go around too.

3. Play golf

It is said Mike Allen’s swing is a crime against golf, so there to investigate it at Port Royal Golf Club were two of Britain’s most loved TV detectives DCI Gene Hunt (Phil Glenister, left) and Inspector Robbie Lewis (Kevin Whately, right)

With a population of just 60,000, Bermuda has six world class golf courses, each with breathtaking views. Among them is the fabulous Par 3 Turtle Hill course, attached to the Fairmont Southampton Hotel, which hosts the World Championship. Then there is Mid Ocean, one of the top 50 courses outside the US, according to Golf Digest, and simply stunning.

And try Port Royal , regarded as one of the best public courses in the world and a regular venue for the Grand Slam of Golf, with its spectacular Par 3 16th.

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Luxury sailing: The billion-dollar single sport event that is America’s Cup

Next month, the 35th edition of the America’s Cup yacht race will officially commence. It will be held in Hamilton, Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory in Northern Atlantic and a major offshore financial center. For decades, the event has been touted as an ultra-expensive sport experience both to compete in and to be a spectator of.  Participants spend millions on yachts and professionals teams; that means only a few challengers can afford to compete in each edition.

 

 

The 166-year-old contest is apparently putting things a notch higher by using hydrofoiling America’s Cup Class yachts for the 2017 edition, which are arguably the most advanced type of yacht in the world right now. More than the sleek design, the yachts were created to maximize aerodynamics, increasing their speed and performing powerfully even in rough waters. By reducing drag and engaging power, the hydrofoils are able to lift the hull out of the water and help it literally fly through the air. It is a technological feat in the world of sailing that has never been achieved before.

 

Revenues associated with the America’s Cup are massive. In the 1986-87 edition, for example, host Western Australia reportedly enjoyed more than $1 billion in overall economic gains. The quaint port city of Fremantle gained global attention and has easily become the region’s leisure hub since the event. The event is capable of generating thousands of associated jobs, millions in taxes, lucrative licensing deals with various media platforms, and hundreds of thousands of visitors.

 

 

What makes America’s Cup more than just a sailing event is its technological pedigree only a few other events could match. It is a magnet of magnates; a sport extravagance that is both a showcase of man’s innovative capabilities and an homage to its historic roots. To keep the event spectacular, Bermuda is spending $77 million as host. This includes a $15 million sponsorship fee, $25 million on infrastructure improvements and new facilities, and $12 million in event operating costs. The territory has also underwritten a $25-million guarantee against commercial sponsorship.

 

Current title holders are the Oracle Team USA and will be challenged by whoever would win the 2017 Louis Vuitton Cup. The event has been preceded by the 2015–16 America’s Cup World Series.

A driver of advancement: Sports and the innovation economy

One of the major economic doctrines is innovation economics. It basically about entrepreneurship and innovation going hand in hand when to drive the economy forward. It is easy to see companies such as Google and Apple as the primary examples that embody this principle. They are world-famous brands, making billions of dollars every year and influencing the world about new ways to do business or express ideas. However, another seemingly inconspicuous giant can be said the same of the latter two. Hiding in plain sight is the sports industry.

 

Image source: sporttechie.com

 

In a single game alone, tens to hundreds of thousands of fans flock together to stadiums in order to watch their favorite team bring home their much anticipated win (or get heartbroken for their loss). Revenue could easily reach millions of dollars for a single night. Then there’s nationwide and worldwide TV broadcasts, with contracts reaching up to millions of dollars as well. Commercial promotions, merchandise sales, even player salaries leading to monetary movement easily amounting to the billions. In the US alone, the sports industry is expected to reach $73.5 billion by 2019. That is a lot of money!

 

Image source: theatlantic.com

 

When taking into consideration the media market, one can easily observe that competition is something that runs deep within their veins. With one company trying to up the other, advancements and innovations in the industry come about. One classic example is the yellow line in football. TV stations place a yellow line whenever a first-down occurs. This makes it easier for the folks at home to follow the play. It’s revolutionary for it is the first mass implementation of augmented-reality. This technology then evolved to down-and-distance info and digital advertisements on the field. One can expect more for the rivalry isn’t going to die down anytime soon.

 

Image source: samsung.com

 

Other innovations driven or bolstered by sports include  HDTV (action requires details and such requirement was crucial to shooting games in high-definition), the NASCAR FanVision (a hand-held controller that puts spectators in the driver’s seat, giving them the opportunity to watch multiple in-car cameras), scoreboards (from simple digital displays to high interactive ones), and of course, the various Olympic or World Cup innovations (it seems that in every edition of these major sports events, new technologies are being introduced).

REPOST: Marc Leishman’s late eagle putt helps him win the Arnold Palmer Invitational (LA Times)

Marc Leishman of Australia sank a 51-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole on Sunday and held off Rory McIlroy and two others to triumph over the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Here’s the full story from the LA TIMES:

 

Marc Leishman poses with the winner’s trophy and the new ceremonial red sweater after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday. (Sam Greenwood / Getty Images)

 

Marc Leishman holed a 50-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole to take the lead Sunday, and he stayed there with two tough pars at the end to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and earn a trip to the Masters.

In a final hour that featured four players having at least a share of the lead, Leishman is the only one who didn’t blink.

His final act was a pitch-and-run from 45 yards away on the closing hole at Bay Hill that ran out to within three feet. He calmly made the par putt for a three-under-par 69 and one-shot victory over Kevin Kisner and Charley Hoffman.

The only thing missing was a handshake from the King. This was the first Arnold Palmer Invitational since the September death of the beloved tournament host.

“You see guys win and he’s waiting there on the back of the green,” Leishman said. “And to not have that is obviously very sad, but to win here is just a dream come true.”

Rory McIlroy had as good a chance as anyone, storming into a share of the lead by hooking a wedge around a tree, over the water and over the green on the 16th, then nearly holing the eagle chip.

He had a 30-foot birdie putt to tie for the lead on the 18th, and after seeing that Leishman had made eagle on the 16th, gave it a good run. The putt went 8 feet by and three-putt for a 69 to finish two shots back.

“These things happen,” McIlroy said. “But I’m pleased with how I went. Ten under for the weekend around here is good scoring, and I can take a lot of positives from it going into next week.”

Kisner and Hoffman also squandered away their chances.

Kisner had a three-shot lead at the turn, but failed to made another birdie the rest of the way. His lead began slipping away when Kisner missed the green on the par-5 12th with a sand wedge, pitched over the other side of the green and took bogey. He closed with a 73.

“I had it right there in the palm of my hand to win, and I didn’t get it done,” Kisner said.

Tyrrell Hatton of England shot 71 to tie for fourth with McIlroy, while Valspar Championship winner Adam Hadwin closed with a 71 to finish three shots behind.

Leishman finished at 11-under 277 and earned a three-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

“Mr. Palmer was an awesome guy who I was lucky enough to meet a few times,” Leishman said. “To honor him was huge. And it was the first time I won a tournament with my family here. It’s all come together.”

A Beginner’s Guide In Investing In Mutual Funds

bonds and mutual fundsJust because you are new and it is your first time to engage in the world of investing and finance, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to handle investing your money in mutual funds. Anyone can do it, as long as you don’t allow yourself to be intimidated by the many technical terms that professionals are using in this industry.

 

In case you’re not aware, there are actually a lot of people investing in mutual funds, especially in the United States. According to statistics, there are about 10 million people who are doing it and the sad part is (not to mention dangerous) these people have no idea what they got themselves into. Another truth to this fact is that these investors are not even first timers anymore and they continually lose money every single year. I don’t want that to happen to you, which is why I wrote this article to be your guide in making your money grow, as you put it in mutual funds.

 

First of all, you must know that dealing with mutual funds is perfect for first time investors or the average type who are willing to shell money in stocks and bonds. To simply put it, they are like this pre-planned investment deal mutual fundshandled by professionals in this field. These people’s job is to make the lives of investors easier, especially when it is their first time.

 

As a beginner in this business, you have to first open an account where you would place your money with directions on how much should you invest and to what kind of funds should your money go to. Let’s say you first started investing to a stock called Euro Channels where you placed an amount worth $20,000. This mean that eventually you have shares from that stock, which would also make you earn a little amount from a portfolio of stocks. You will determine that amount of shares you will soon own based on the amount of share price when your purchase order has already been processed.

 

As a first timer in investing in mutual funds, you must know that there three kinds of funds you could choose from. Here they are:

 

  1. Stock
  2. Bond
  3. Money Market

 

pooled investmentsGetting yourself familiar with those three will certainly give you an edge in earning big in this venture, while taking minimal risk in the process. My tip here is that you go ahead and place your money in all those three if you really want to make money in mutual funds consistently.

 

Investing in bonds is also one of the best things you could do when dealing with mutual funds. The risks are high on that one, but once it hits its peak, the returns would be really high, so it’s worth the risk!

 

Don’t lose hope when you don’t get your expected return at first. The first time is always the hardest, but you will learn from it and would eventually know some strategies related to investing.

More reading:

https://www.lom.com/offshore-mutual-funds/

Spiritual Musings of a Golfer

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I am no Solomon but I hope I can share some inspiration and even a bit of wisdom with these words that I write…

Living by the Bible is definitely not easy.  But it’s the only way for me.  I can’t imagine living my life any other way.  Some people, especially these days, would scoff at us religious golfers.  They might think religion shouldn’t be mixed up with sports.  But I believe that religion is more than just something you practice in church for a couple of hours.  My religion – I view it as a map on how to live my life every single waking hour. It’s a law of love that pervades every aspect of my life, whether it be how I treat my family or the waitress at the diner, how I give my best at work, how I manage my finances or how I perform at my sport.

Every time I go on tour I make it a point to meditate on the purpose of my playing golf.  When a person plays a sport, he strives for the mastery of his body.  Athletes train long and hard, putting in subjection all their desires and whims, as they work towards one goal – to excel and be the best at what they do.  Self-restraint, discipline, focus, eyes on the goal.  I try to translate all that physical exertion into the spiritual realm.  In our spiritual lives, we strive for a better prize that cannot be destroyed by rust or mold.  All the discipline and self-mastery I pour into my sport, I know I ought to even double and triple it for the spiritual trophy that will last forever.

Sport builds character.  More than the money, playing golf has helped me grow in wisdom and be more self-controlled in my emotions.  Sometimes, when you are on the verge of losing it, you just have to take a deep breath and try to detach yourself from your physical cares.  Worry and distress usually result when I weaken or neglect the spiritual things.  When I get too focused on the cares of this life and lose the right perspective.  Sometimes, it’s vanity that motivates us.  Sometimes it’s pride.  But those are the wrong attitudes to have when playing a sport.  They just lead to a lot of heartache.  For me, I always make self-mastery as my goal.  I compete against myself.  I do my best to excel in order to give the other fellow a fitting competitor.  Iron sharpening iron.  Whether I win or lose, the rewards are always there with respect to character building.

Sometimes, winning poses a greater spiritual threat than losing.  As long as I have tried my best, if I should lose, I am happy and see it as an opportunity to be humbled.  Winning, on the other hand, tends to push humans towards pride or complacency.  The challenge is to remain humble at all times, giving God the glory in all the success he affords you.

Another weakness that can result from winning is the human tendency to rely on oneself.  During good times, when we are on the winning side, we feel self-sufficient.  We don’t need anyone to save us, or so we think.  I pray with all my might that I never forget to see God as my sole help and hope all the days of my life.  “Cursed be the man that trusts in man and makes flesh his shield.”  Trusting in a man is a curse.  And trusting in a man includes trusting in myself – I too am just a mere man.  Every golf swing, every breath, every second of my life, I know will not be possible without God who sustains me.  I know I will be cursed once I forget that.

I try my best and always give my full one hundred percent in everything.  The Bible says that we are to do with all our might whatsoever we find to do with our hands.  But I also always remind myself that my best will never be enough without God filling in for wherever I fall short.

Trusting in God alone makes me stronger.  It’s corollary is I also fear no man.  As long as I know I am doing my best to live God’s way, I should fear nothing and no one.  The righteous are to be bold as a lion.

I try to always keep my eyes open, sensitive to what God wants me to see or learn every day.   God doesn’t always speak to us with lightning and thunder as he did in Mt. Sinai to Moses.  He sometimes speaks to us in a still, small voice like he did to Elijah in the mountain.  Sometimes, that still, small voice can be a friend or even a stranger mentioning something in passing – but if you paid close attention you should have already realized something important you ought to do or stop doing.  Hopefully these spiritual musings speak in such a way to the hearts of those who read them.