One thing is clear in politics and football: anything can happen, and the World Cup in Qatar was no exception. For observers, of course the surprise arrival of Morocco in the semi-finals, or the early eliminations of Belgium and Germany, would have been no big deal, but for politicians these unexpected results were a debacle of their forecasts, which for the most part focused on the bigger picture of the tournament. ending as were out of tune.
Neither the University of Oxford, nor Liberium Capital, nor Bloomberg’s Miliv Pulse nor the Banco de Bogotá have predicted what will happen in tomorrow’s final between France and Argentina at 10:00. Even the analysts who got it right at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups broke down in Qatar, as they all bet that Brazil would be champions of the competition.
This was very bad news for bookies. In Colombia, since the start of the World Cup, sports betting in Colombia has increased by 84%, totaling $5.7 billion, according to data from PayU. More than 100,000 of these operations are performed daily in the country.
On average, a ticket to a digital bookmaker in Colombia costs between $55,000 and $60,000.
For example, the Mathematics Institute at the University of Oxford, returning to predictions, proposed a very different scenario from the one playing out in the courts of Qatar. Calculations, equations and predictions were of little use when they ensured that Ecuador qualified for the round of 16 (Senegal did so instead), that the United States were last in their group (they finished second to England). and that Mexico lost to Poland in the round of 16. Finals, replacing Robert Lewandowski.
Likewise, the numbers didn’t predict the eliminations of Belgium, Germany and Uruguay, let alone the miracles of Morocco and the sore qualifications of South Korea and Japan.
For the first time in World Cup history, at least one team from each of the world’s football associations has qualified for the last 16.
For its part, Banco de Bogotá erroneously claimed in its forecast that “there will be no major surprises in the first round.” Among its mistakes were that Germany were first classified in their group and that Morocco, the United States, Switzerland, Australia and South Korea were eliminated in that instance. However, they are paid to reach Senegal and Poland in the round of 16.
Like Oxford University, off the bench they assured that the final was between Brazil and Belgium and they beat Argentina and France respectively in the semi-finals. He also predicted that Senegal would beat England in the round of 16 and that Germany would beat Croatia in the same round.
The economic model also failed
Joachim Clement, an investment analyst at Liberum Capital who predicted the champions in 2014 and 2018, said he “sweated a lot” watching Saudi Arabia beat Argentina in the group stage. In September, when he made his forecast public, the expert said England would beat Lionel Messi’s team in the final, but warned that the tournament would be “the most difficult to predict.”
To predict the winners, Clement used a model based on four factors: climate, population size, GDP per capita, and culture.
The best countries are the warmest countries where you can play soccer year-round, the ones with large populations, high GDP per capita, and populations that love soccer.
The three big outliers in his model are India, China and the Netherlands.
“The Indians have decided to play cricket, God knows why, and the Chinese, for some strange reason, are really looking to cash in,” Clement told Bloomberg. He said that the Netherlands has been “incredibly successful at football” given its relatively small population.
According to Clement, other approaches to predicting a winner, such as using the collective value of a team’s players, were not as reliable as looking at the factors underlying a team’s success.
“I’m a little cautious about using the collective value of players because the Premier League has a lot of money and can pay a lot for players,” he said.
Polls declare Brazil the winner
For his part, Bloomberg’s Maliv Pals pegged Brazil as the winners, but was correct that Japan would be the “least favorite team with the most chances to win”.
In this forecast, Argentina (23%) and France (12%) were the favorite teams behind the five-time world champions. Germany and England complete the rankings, but the former went home in the group stage and the latter lost in the quarter-finals.
Similarly, analysts expected England to be the first power to be knocked out of the tournament, while 13% predicted it would be Germany. Spain was also one of the least expected teams, as 22% of those polled by Bloomberg assured it would not last long at the World Cup.
Japan, with 39% of the vote, was voted the hardest nut to crack. The Japanese beat Spain and Germany to qualify for the last 16.
The same pulse predicted that the tournament’s Ballon d’Or would go to Lionel Messi (33%), followed by Frenchman Kylian Mbappe (32%). Either of these two situations can happen in the final.