Brazil will win the World Cup 2010

Who will win the Football World Cup 2010? This is one of the most pressing questions today – even beyond the world of sports. This article offers a prognostic model that goes far beyond Franz Beckenbauers answer on the question: What is your prognosis for the game? “Yes good, there is only one possibility. Victory, Draw or defeat”. Statistical Analyses reveals that – against popular opinions – political and economic, religious and psychological factors are explanatory and that Brasil will defeat Germany in the Final.

Table 1: Prognosis of results (checked by schedule)

World Champion Brazil
Runner Up Germany
3rd France
4th Italy
Quarter Finals Netherlands, England, Spain, Argentina
Last 16 Portugal, Serbia,  South Africa, Greece, Cameroun, USA, Paraguay, Switzerland

Based on a complex model, a team of social scientists at the Institute of Political Science of the University Tuebingen, predicts that Brazil will defeat Germany in the Finals of the 2010 Football World Cup. The model takes into account football related variables (participation and success in previous world cups, FIFA rankings, UEFA Coefficients and others) as well as political and economic (GDP per capita, GINI-Coefficient, HDI, Freedom House Freedom in the World Index, number of registered players) and socio-geographic (ration of catholics, distance to London and Chichén Itza, Continent) variables. Factorial analysis, regressions and other statistical calculations reveal that there is a significant influence of non-football variables on success.

The whole study can be downloaded here (as it is in German, please ask me for more results in English)

4 Responses to “Brazil will win the World Cup 2010”

  1. 1 probusjuvenis June 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I honestly don’t see how you can possibly think this is applicable to football (I’m so glad you rightfully referred to it as ‘football’ and not ‘soccer’). This is an interesting article and I enjoyed reading it. However, I mean no direct criticism in asking you whether you properly play football or even follow it? Now I’m not going to inject any personal opinion with regards to who I think will or won’t win into this reply for reasons that coincide with what I am about to say.

    In football, a lapse of concentration by one player of a possible 28 that could feature (22 starting players, 6 subs from 2 sides) could mean a player missing a crucial chance, or leading to another team scoring. Football is made in moments (I bet that’s a famous quote somewhere or another) like Thierry Henry handling the ball to send the French football team through to these finals themselves, or Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” in the 1986 quater-final. There’s no way of being able to predict what will happen in football in any degree of accuracy. It’s not decided on who has the highest GDP etc. Sure these have an effect on natural home-grown talent that come through the grass-roots stages but seriously, there are so many circumstances that could change this it is not worth listing (just imagine if Lionel Messi was never scouted by Barcelona).

    Now if I injected personal opinion I don’t think Argentina or France will do as well as this report suggests, but that will provoke another argument on a whole different level, so I shall refrain. All I’m saying is I think this level of analytical approach ruins the beautiful game. It’s why they don’t have video technology as FIFA want anyone in the world to be able to play the sport as it is played on the highest stage (i.e kids can put jumpers down for goalposts in parks and play). Instead, the worldwide fans of football and everyone else that will inevitably get wrapped up in the competition should just enjoy the beauty of the entertainment on show in Africa’s first ever FIFA World Cup. Bring on South Africa!

  2. 2 Rolf Frankenberger June 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Actually there is evidence that the model applied works. We were able to reconstruct 75% of the results of the last four World Cups using the variable set referred to, including the champions ’94, ’98, ’02. I think this level of variance expanation leaves enough space for what you call moments.
    By the way, I am one of these guy using jumpers for goal posts in parks…
    To use a makro-level approach doies not mean not to love football. So let the games begin!

    • 3 probusjuvenis June 1, 2010 at 6:05 pm

      Haha its a really good article tbf. I’ve certainly never seen anything like it before. It just questions a lot about the iniatitive and creativity of players but I guess everything needs good foundations to stand on to get anywhere. You would think China and USA would do better though considering all the other factors in question unless it is weighted more towards the rankings and coefficients…

      • 4 Rolf Frankenberger June 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm

        Of Course, you are right. thats what we actually have done. And there seems to be a path dependency connecting previous success with better chances to be successful again, which perfectly applies to Brazil, Italy and Germany. France and, much more, England seem to be somewhat exceptions, as their victories seem to be closely linked with being host of the respective World Cups. But using only football-variables is not sufficient for explaining the results, and neither are political, socio-economic or cultural variables…
        And it is true that we did not operationalize creativity or initiative of players. These might be the missing 25% of variance.

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