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World Cup simulator: Why Japan are world champions

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[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f economic might was used to determine the outcome of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Asian giants Japan would lift the trophy on July 15 following a tense battle in the final against the hosts, Russia.

Japan, with a Gross Domestic Product* of Ksh567 trillion have the biggest economy of the 32 nations that have qualified for the World Cup in Russia, hence their eventual win in our economic might simulator. The second highest economy, Germany, would be eliminated on penalties by Japan in the quarter-finals.


Using statistics from the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook of April 2018, BT has run the numbers and simulated the World Cup according to economic might. The 32 competing teams have been ranked as per the GDP purchasing power parity (ppp) indicator.

Keeping all the Groups as they are currently drawn by world football governing body FIFA, BT has assessed which teams will get out of the Group Stages as per their economic power and then charted their paths to the final. Those countries ranking higher obviously flex their financial muscles and knock out teams with lesser clout. [For purposes of this ranking, the economy of the United Kingdom has been equated to that of England].

Here are our findings;

Group Stages

Group A :  Russia and Saudi Arabia finish first and second repectively meaning Egypt and Uruguay go home. Egypt are unlucky as at a GDP of Ksh130 trillion, they are the 13th best ranked economy at the World Cup.

Group B : Spain emerge as group winners with Iran second. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal finish third and are eliminated along with Morocco.

Group C : France comfortably win the group and proceed alongside Australia. Peru and Denmark book their flights home.

Group D : Nigeria are ran close by Lionel Messi’s Argentina, but eventually top the group with the South Americans in second. Croatia and Iceland are the casualties.

Group E : An easy group for Neymar and Brazil as they wipe the floor with all in the group. Switzerland sneak into second, leaving Serbia and Costa Rica packing their bags.

Group F : World champions Germany secure top spot, as Mexico fend off the challenge of South Korea to finish second. Sweden are a distant fourth.

Group G : England and Belgium proceed as group winners and runners-up respectively. Tunisia finish ahead of Panama but both are eliminated.

Group H : A strong Japan leads the way, with Poland following. Despite a good show, Colombia head home, and are joined on the plane by Senegal.

Round of 16

Russia defeat Iran to set up a meeting with France, who manage to knock out Nigeria.

Brazil need extra-time to see off Mexico. They will face England who have navigated the challenge of Poland easily.

Spain need penalties to see off Saudi Arabia, while a close contest between Argentina and Australia sees Messi’s World Cup hopes dashed by the team from Oceania.

Germany score many goals to knock out Switzerland. Similarly, a ruthless Japan sees off Belgium.


A penalty shootout is needed to divide the two best teams in the tournament, with Japan holding their nerve against Germany. The Asian giants wait to see who they will face in the semi-finals, and Spain it is after Australia succumb.

Russia and France play an exciting game, with the hosts proceeding. In the other quarter-final, Neymar scores in the final minute of extra time to break English hearts.



Spain prove no match for Japan, therefore all eyes turn to the other semi-final. Russia’s financial firepower eventually proves too strong for Brazil.

Brazil clinch third in the playoff with Spain.


Russia are defeated in the final. Japan win the World Cup !!


  Country Average GDP (ppp) in Ksh. trillions Group FIFA Ranking
1 Japan 562 H 61
2 Germany 437 F 1
3 Russia 417 A 70
4 Brazil 339 E 2
5 United Kingdom* 303* G** 12**
6 France 296 C 7
7 Mexico 257 F 15
8 Korea 214 F 57
9 Spain 186 B 10
10 Saudi Arabia 184 A 67
11 Iran 175 B 37
12 Australia 131 C 36
13 Egypt 129 A 45
14 Poland 119 H 8
15 Nigeria 117 D 48
16 Argentina 96 D 5
17 Colombia 75 H 16
18 Belgium 55 G 3
19 Sweden 55 F 24
20 Switzerland 54 E 6
21 Peru 45 C 11
22 Portugal 33 B 4
23 Morocco 32 B 41
24 Denmark 30 C 12
25 Tunisia 14 G 21
26 Panama 11 G 55
27 Serbia 11 E 34
28 Croatia 10 D 20
29 Costa Rica 9 E 23
30 Uruguay 8 A 14
31 Senegal 4 H 27
32 Iceland 2 D 22
*United Kingdom’s IMF projections have been used for the purposes of this section of the table

**England’s FIFA ranking and Group placing has been used for the purposes of this section of the table


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Mike Njoroge
Mike Njorogehttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Mike Njoroge is the founder of Daystar Oracle and FootballTriangle. He is passionate about news, religion and sports. He can be reached at: [email protected]
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