A study performed by CRIF Ratings (CRIF) on the coming World Cup to be celebrated in Russia concludes that there are macroeconomic and financial arguments that support France or Belgium as the next champions, followed closely by Switzerland. This outcome might look like a paradox and somehow contrasts the market consensus’ odds that the defending champion Germany and the powerhouse Brazil are the main candidates.

The study takes as a reference four key data: current FIFA ranking, team players’ average age, GDP per capita ranking of each country and the average GDP growth of the previous decade. These four concepts have been analyzed for all championships since 1982 in order to build a World Cup Score for classifying the scores of the national teams that take part in the 2018 World Cup. Out of a total of 100 points, France and Belgium score 90 points, followed by Switzerland with 75 points.

CRIF Ratings acknowledges that the concepts related to the sport have a prevailing weight vis à vis economic data. As a result, CRIF Ratings’ World Cup Score assigns a 75% incidence to the FIFA ranking a team holds and the team players’ average age (37.5% each). They are followed by a 15% assigned to the GDP per capita ranking and a 10% to the average GDP growth of the past 10 years.

Despite CRIF Ratings’ effort to rationalize a sport like football by trying to predict the next World Cup Champion, it is important to highlight that there is a significant degree of variability and uncertainty in this exercise. However, we think this report covers useful macro and financial topics to provide a different reading angle to the World Cup.

Read the full research