The 2018 World Cup got underway this week and marks a month of joy, tears, celebration and in all likelihood, commiseration, for football fans the world over.
But as the best footballing nations in the world square off in Russia over the next thirty days, there will be another battle taking place behind the scenes.
There are five high-profile footballers with associations to cryptocurrency at the tournament this year.
Some of them are consultants for upcoming crypto projects, one is launching his own token, and one even had his persona tokenized on the blockchain without his knowledge.
So if football isn’t your thing, but you want a reason to get involved in the largest sporting event the world has ever seen, then hopefully this brief primer will give you an in-road.
All Sports (SOC)
All Sports finds itself with two representatives at the World Cup this year.
Manchester City and Argentina striker Sergio Aguero – teammate of Lionel Messi – is listed as a consultant on the All Sports website. While it’s unlikely he’s there for his blockchain expertise, the acquisition of a world-famous footballer with 13.2 million Twitter followers is a major coup for the up and coming sports platform.
Alongside Aguero on the All Sports consultant team is Chelsea and Belgium winger Eden Hazard. Hazard is one of football’s more low-key figures, but still boasts a Twitter following of over 5 million.
All Sports aims to become a sports hub: a blockchain-based platform which covers sports media, while also providing sports betting and marketplace features.
Looking at the match results so far: Aguero’s Argentina drew with lowly Iceland on Saturday – a result which sent shockwaves through Argentina.
Then on Monday afternoon Eden Hazard’s Belgium team played Panama, and came away with a 3-0 win.
To use the football standard of 3-points for a win and 1-point for a draw, this puts All Sports on a total of 4-points for the tournament thus far.
Probably the most famous footballer in the world, Real Madrid and Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo, managed to get involved with cryptocurrency, but without his own knowledge.
‘CR7’ is a marketing term owned by Cristiano Ronaldo, and references his initials and shirt number.
In February a new ICO announced its arrival – CR7Coin. The marketing materials which accompanied it focused on one thing – Cristiano Ronaldo. The aim was to ‘…immortalize Cristiano Ronaldo on the blockchain…’. Further details revealed plans to build a blockchain-based marketplace with CR7Coins used as the main currency.
CR7Coin ultimately failed to take off, and before long the following disclaimer began to appear alongside marketing materials:
“CR7Coin is not owned, operated, endorsed by, or otherwise affiliated with Cristiano Ronaldo, CR7 trademark or any other organization owned and/or operated by Cristiano Ronaldo or any of his affiliates.”
The coin eventually rebranded to SporChain, but for the sake of this piece, we can award CR7Coin 1-point following Portugal’s draw with Spain last Friday night.
The name James Rodriguez may not mean much to non-football fans, but this little Colombian creative midfielder has 17 million followers on Twitter and is one of his home country’s most famous public figures.
Rodriguez recently launched his own cryptocurrency – the JR10 token. Details on the token are vague but seem to amount to a fan participation and marketing tool for the player. The token launched on May 27th via the SelfSell app.
Colombia play their first game of the tournament against Japan tomorrow, where they are considered strong favorites to open with a win.
Olyseum is a recently launched football social media platform that connects fans with their favorite players and incentivizes interaction via token payments.
Winner of 2010’s World Cup with Spain, Andres Iniesta acts as an advisor for the Olyseum platform. The Barcelona star recently tweeted:
“With the desire to expand the limits of real and genuine participation of fans, [we] joined together to create a collaborative space for lovers of this beautiful sport and interact with users moved by the same feeling.”
Spain played Portugal last Friday with the battle between Ronaldo and Iniesta ending in a draw. That gives Olyseum 1-point in a week where none of the footballers associated with crypto have yet lost a game.