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Brazilian soccer fan Marilza Guimaraes da Silva, 63, plays with a ball as she poses for picture, dressed in one of her many outfits matching the colors of the Brazil's national flag (green, yellow, white and blue) at her home in Brasilia May 27, 2014. (STRINGER/BRAZIL/REUTERS)
Brazilian soccer fan Marilza Guimaraes da Silva, 63, plays with a ball as she poses for picture, dressed in one of her many outfits matching the colors of the Brazil's national flag (green, yellow, white and blue) at her home in Brasilia May 27, 2014. (STRINGER/BRAZIL/REUTERS)

World Cup: Stacking up the odds of world’s most popular sport Add to ...

The team: While they’ve won all but one of their World Cup qualifying games, the Dutch have fallen in the FIFA rankings from second in 2010 to 15 in 2014.

The economy: Despite its economy having suffered since 2008, “Dutch investment saw positive and increasing growth in 2013 … and seems more likely to show a return to further positive growth in 2014.”

 

Spain

Previous World Cup appearance: 9 (Won 1)

FIFA World ranking: 1

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 9.8

The team: Spain’s “technical efficiency allows its players to maintain possession while tiring out the opposition as they chase the ball,” which also serves as an effective defence.

The economy: Despite having accumulated high levels of debt during its boom years, the report says that “Spain’s economy is on the right track.”

 

Colombia

Previous World Cup appearances: 4

FIFA World ranking: 5

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 0.6

The team: Head Coach Jose Pekerman has been credited with “the revival of Colombia’s squad to its glory days of the 1990s.”

The economy: Considering this is their first World Cup appearance since 1998, “the re-emergence of Colombia as a regional football power has coincided with the strengthening of its economy over the last several years.”

 

Ivory Coast

Previous World Cup appearances: 2

FIFA World ranking: 21

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 0.2

The team: With players like Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure, the highest ranked team in Africa is looking to play spoilers against Greece and Colombia.

The economy: According to the World Bank’s 2014 ‘Doing Business’ report, the country “ranked among the 10 countries with the fastest improvement in business climate.”

 

Greece

Previous World Cup appearance: 2

FIFA World ranking: 10

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 0.3

The team: Combining a mix of young players with seasoned veterans, the Greek national team constitutes “a capable set of players who managed to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.”

The economy: The country’s Growth Environment Score greatly improved in 2013, and 2014 “may be the first year of growth after a prolonged recession.”

 

Japan

Previous World Cup appearances: 4

FIFA World Ranking: 47

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 0

The team: While they are the lowest ranked team in the group, Japan is the only Group C team that has qualified for five consecutive World Cups.

The economy: Since the last World Cup in South Africa, Japan’s soccer league has expanded at a faster pace than Japan’s real economy.”

 

Costa Rica

Previous World Cup appearances: 3

FIFA World ranking: 34

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 0

The team: The group’s clear underdog, Costa Rica is known as a “tactically disciplined side” under head coach Jorge Luis Pinto.

The economy: Costa Rica has attracted “large foreign direct investment inflows,” which has helped “maintain steady growth rates and finance the current account deficit.”

 

England

Previous World Cup appearances: 13 (Won 1)

FIFA World ranking: 11

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 1.4

The team: Despite not having won since 1966, England’s World Cup team consists of some of the world’s top players, which makes them hard to count out.

The economy: Looking ahead, England’s economic forecast apearsto “remain above consensus on growth, below consensus on inflation and more dovish than consensus on policy.”

 

Italy

Previous World Cup appearances: 17 (Won 4)

FIFA World ranking: 9

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 1.5

The Team: Considering the quality of the competition in Group D, Italy will look to Gianluigi Buffon and Mario Balotelli to lead the team into the next round.

The economy: Despite the risk of low growth and deflation, “Italy is slowly emerging from a severe and prolonged recession, but it is not out of the woods yet.”

 

Uruguay

Previous World Cup appearances: 11 (Won 2)

FIFA world ranking: 6

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 1.1

The team: Known as El Maestro, Oscar Tabarez’s team is predicted to have a 57.5 per cent chance of moving on from the dangerous Group D.

The economy: In 2013, Uruguay’s economy “grew a healthy 4.4 per cent, although inflation is running at 8.5 per cent and shows no signs of abating.”

 

Ecuador

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