Brazil versus Argentina was Goldman's final match fixture guess, with the home country expected to lift the World Cup at the end. But this was wrong again, as it's the Argentinians who meet the Germans in the final on Sunday.
"The predictions for each match were based on a regression analysis that uses the entire history of mandatory international football matches—i.e., no friendlies—since 1960. This gives us about 14,000 observations to estimate the coefficients of our model," Goldman explained.
The American bank failed to back its home team USA, although a strong performance by the team saw them make the quarter finals. The team narrowly missed out on a chance to progress further, despite heroics from goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Deutsche Bank had perhaps the most outlandish prediction, slating England to go all the way and win the tournament—when not even British fans thought their own team could win.
The German economists' reasoning was clear: "With U.S. yields noticeably down, Ukraine the biggest (geopolitical) hotspot in the world and Athletico Madrid celebrating their first league title in almost twenty years, this year's World Cup looks ripe for an upset."
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A "quantitative model" for predicting the winner was used, and some "well-reasoned arguments" were put forward to arrive at this conclusion.
"Thanks to large presence of Liverpool players in the squad, England comes out as our predicted winner. The fact that one of the authors supports both teams is mere coincidence," authors Bilal Hafeez and Henrik Gullberg joked.
England was, in fact, kicked out of the tournament after finishing at the bottom of its group in the initial stages of the World Cup.
Jesting aside, the economists said that Spain also had a winning chance, based on past performances, a history of doing well on big stages and its talent pool. Germany, Brazil and Argentina had been slated as the next most probable. As such, Deutsche's model needs a red card.
High off its success of correctly predicting Spain as the 2010 World Cup winners, Standard Chartered said Brazil would lift the prize this year, firmly backing the favorites.
Brazil, Spain, Germany and Argentina were slated to make the final four, but Standard Chartered was another bank that put its faith in the Spaniards with little reward.
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The bank's economists did give a caveat, however.
"In football, a goalkeeper error or a referee decision can decide a game. In the current economic environment, where the U.S. is normalizing monetary policy, China is rebalancing and Europe is looking to revive growth, the biggest risk is a policy mistake; while we still expect growth to be higher this year than in 2013, such a risk could be a game-changer," Marios Maratheftis, head of macro research at the bank, said in a note.
ING took a different approach with its forecast, focusing on the market value of a soccer team to decide the winner—and Spain came out on top.
"If the value of all the players in a football team actually could decide the results of the World Cup, Spain would prevail this summer as our analysis shows its squad of 23 has the highest total market value at 675 million euros ($918 million)," ING said in a note.
Germany followed close behind, with a value of 609 million euros, and Brazil came in third with 507 million euros.