Drivers of World Cup success

What can econometrics tell us about World Cup performance?

Power v passion: Wealth comes second to location and tradition when projecting World Cup winners. Richer countries do not generally outperform poorer opposition in football, according to PwC' report.

Brazil are the statistical favourites at this year’s World Cup tournament, while England would do well to get beyond the quarter-finals based on both current FIFA world rankings and historic World Cup performance.

The report finds that there is no significant link between average income (GDP per capita) levels and tournament success. Relatively low income countries from Latin America have often matched or beaten their more affluent European rivals, particularly when playing in their home region.