As the first FIFA World Cup to take place in the Middle East approaches later this year, Luis Garcia Alvarez, equity portfolio manager at MAPFRE AM, the asset management division of Spain's largest insurance company MAPFRE, has shared his insights on how the World Cup will impact the global football industry and what this means for investors in football.

In a recent video update for MAPFRE AM clients, Alvarez commented: "I think that more than having an impact on our investment decisions, which are more for the long term, I believe that World Cups in general, and these kinds of tournaments, show how powerful football can be as an industry and how important it is for many people."

"In particular, we now have two World Cups on the horizon, one in the Middle East, and then in a few years, we will have one in the US, Canada and Mexico. These are markets with tremendous growth potential for football. So it will be a test to see whether the football industry, which has been more potent in Europe, where football is more like a tradition, can also grow in markets that have been traditionally a bit more unexplored like the Middle East, Asia, or the US, Canada and Mexico which are huge football markets. So yes, more than influencing our investment decisions, the World Cup will demonstrate the power of football as a global industry."

More broadly, Alvarez has outlined why football in particular presents interesting opportunities for behavioural finance investors; how he sees growing opportunities among European football clubs being driven by relative valuations versus US sports franchises; and how increasing interest in the women's game is contributing to future revenue growth in the industry.