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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: Looking to cement its place as Africa’s top country, Ghana’s proven international success means they are a team to watch if they can make it out of the group stages.

The economy: Despite having made “growth less dependent on gold and cocoa export,” its “economic performance has deteriorated recently.”

 

Portugal

Previous World Cup appearances: 5

FIFA world ranking: 3

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 0.9

The team: Cristiano Ronaldo’s play is likely to dictate Portugal’s World Cup performance.

The economy: Portugal has learned the value of flexibility from the euro crisis: “If a ‘shock’ strikes one sector, resources can be reallocated to other sectors.”

 

The U.S.

Previous World Cup appearances: 9

FIFA world ranking: 14

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 0.5

The team: With recent media attention surrounding the absence of Landon Donovan from their roster, it’s easy to forget that the U.S. ranked ahead of teams like France and the Netherlands.

The economy: By the time the team leaves Brazil, “the U.S. economy [is] poised to accelerate to above-trend growth for the first time since before the 2010 World Cup.”

 

 

Algeria

Previous World Cup appearances: 3

FIFA World Cup ranking: 25

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 0

The team: Algeria was unable to score a goal in South Africa and was given a 24.6 per cent chance of reaching the next round.

The economy: Algeria accounts for 2.1 per cent of the world’s oil and 2.5 per cent of its natural gas production, which makes it “vulnerable to changes in global energy prices.”

 

Belgium

Previous World Cup appearances: 11

FIFA world ranking: 12

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 0.6

The team: Despite not having appeared in a World Cup since 2002, Vincent Kompany’s young Belgium squad has a 61 per cent chance of moving on.

The economy: A healthy private balance sheet coupled with a high degree of integration with Germany’s economy could see a 1.6 per cent growth in its own economy.

 

South Korea

Previous World Cup appearances: 8

FIFA world ranking: 55

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 0.6

The team: As the only Asian country to reach the semi-finals, Korea’s young yet experienced squad is likely make it to the round of 16.

The economy: While an improvement in the global macro is expected, the pace of recovery could be slow and moderate in both exports and domestic demands.

 

Russia

Previous World Cup appearances: 9

FIFA world ranking: 18

Goldman Sachs’ probability of winning: 0.5

The team: Having not played in a World Cup in 12 years, the tournament’s next host country seems poised to re-emerge on the international scene.

The economy: Russia had set itself up for a promising economic recovery, but “growth prospects are likely to remain challenged” until the crisis in Ukraine is resolved.

 

Compiled by Sean Tepper and Omar El Akkad.  Source: Goldman Sachs

Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Portugal’s number of previous World Cup appearances and its world ranking. This version has been fixed.

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