- According to an econometric model, there will be a semi-final round with Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Spain
It is one of the questions of the moment: who will win the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil? The theories are many; some point to tradition as paramount, others point to recent results as the best predictor, others maintain that fan support is always critical. But, among the many theories, Itau Unibanco, Latin America's biggest bank and the official bank of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, believes there is a better way to find the winner.
Today, Itau presents its first soccer research report, offering a clear, quantitative way to help fans make sense of all the predictions and theories that are out there.
Putting personal footballing passions and biases aside, Itau's macroeconomics research team has developed an econometric model that looks at the key quantifiable factors which it believes have been critical to determining success in World Cups: 1) the current quality of the team 2) the team's historic world cup performance 3) the support of fans.
According to the bank's model, this year's World Cup will offer surprises from the outset with England not making it past the group stage, while Iran and Ivory Coast will be the only Asian and African teams respectively, to make it to the round of 16. This will lead to an extraordinary semi-final round with Brazil, Germany, Argentina and Spain, who have eleven World Cup titles between them, fighting it out for the ultimate prize. As to the winner, Itau's macroeconomics research team has its own strong feeling but they let fans around the world decide for themselves.
Ilan Goldfajn, Chief Economist of Itau Unibanco, says: "It is only fitting that Itau Unibanco, as Latin America's biggest bank, the official bank of the World Cup and with a Brazilian passion for football in its DNA, should offer its own predictions for the coming FIFA World Cup™. Putting aside our personal preferences and our usual focus on macroeconomics, we have developed a methodology that, if proven accurate, will produce two great semi-final play-offs in which Brazil, Spain, Germany and Argentina will vie to qualify for the final. Whatever happens, the 2014 World Cup hosted by Brazil has something to thrill and delight football lovers all over the world."
The full report is available on Itau's website.
Itau and Soccer
Supporting sports is part of Itau's DNA. The company believes that sport, along with culture and education, is key to a society's sustainable development, especially at a time of change, such as that being experienced by Brazil currently. Itau's involvement with football, Brazil's great passion, began more than 25 years ago when it sponsored the broadcasting of various competitions including the National Championship, Libertadores Cup and FIFA World Cup™, among others.
In October 2008, Itau's role as a patron of sport was reinforced when it became the official sponsor of the Brazilian national soccer team in all its categories: Professionals, Olympic Team, National Team U-23, National Team U-20, National Team U-17, National Team U-15 and the Women's National Team. In November 2013, Itau and CBF renewed the sponsorship contract through to 2022, which will include the FIFA World Cup™ in both Russia and Qatar. In April 2009, the bank was the first Brazilian company to sign a contract for the sponsorship of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. It has also, since early 2011, been a sponsor of the Brazilian National Beach Soccer Team.