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Cristante Tabbed as Roma's Most Valuable Player

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The folks at CIES weighed and measured every player in all top 5 leagues, and Cristante came out as Roma's most prized asset.

Cagliari v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Enrico Locci/Getty Images

As a kid I really had no conception of what it was like to be an adult. I knew eventually I'd learn how to drive, and that I'd have to get a job, and that at some point I'd discover the meaning of the word "mortgage” that my parents seemed to fight over every month. I also figured I'd learn to appreciate vegetables and eventually get a pair of those glasses whose tint changes when you go outside, like seemingly every dad in the neighborhood had, and I'll be damned if those didn’t pair well with a mustache and some uncomfortably short cut off jean-shorts.

I figured all this would happen simply because it's what adults did. What I didn't reckon with, however, was the extent to which, as an adult, I'd have to deal with acronyms. From IRS to DMV to IRA to JFK, it seems like alphabetic abbreviations were everywhere, especially in sports where we can add NFL, MLB, NCAA, WAR and even NPG90 to the mix.

There is, however, one strange acronym with which I was unfamiliar until this past fall: CIES. The International Centre for Sports Studies—which apparently isn't a like-for-like translation to English, at least in terms of abbreviations—is a Swiss based research group dedicated to, you guessed it, sports.

And lately, the CIES has been very kind to Bryan Cristante. Just last fall, CIES tabbed Cristante as the third most valuable transfer in all of Europe during the summer of 2018. By comparing the price Roma paid for Cristane to his "estimated fair price” Roma came out ahead by some €20 million, as CIES deemed him worth nearly €50 million on a fair and open market.

And, well, here we are several months, 36 appearances and four goals later and CIES are just as bullish on Cristante as they were in September. At a value of €55 million, not only has Cristante's perceived worth increased, he's Roma's most valuable player full stop. {This was a correction from the original piece, where I misread their report as league overall vs most valuable per team. My bad}

As one would guess, given his age and meteoric rise, PSG's Kylian Mbappe is the world's most valuable player according to the CIES, clocking in at an impressive €228 million, €30 million more than his closest competitor, Harry Kane.

As far as Cristante his concerned, being a Roma player and all, he hasn't been immune to criticism. Perhaps it's because of his ill-defined role, but Cristante hasn't exactly wowed Roma fans this year, though if we're being honest, he's been a victim of the incredibly high bar he set last season with Atalanta.

CIES don't really get into specifics about their methodology, but they've been high on Cristante all season long, and given his age, his versatility, and the nose for goal he showed last year, there are ample reasons to remain optimistic.

Roma just needs, you know, a coach who can use him correctly.