— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on June 10, Tuesday.
Welcome to the CNBC Business Daily.
We're just two days away from the start of World Cup 2014.
Hardcore fans are going all out it seems, to support their favored teams.
But they're not the only ones.
Some ECONOMISTS have also tossed in their data-backed bets into the ring.
Economists at Goldman Sachs are expecting Brazil to have the greatest probability of winning.
But the ING Group predicts that Spain has the greatest chance of securing the championship... followed by Germany and Brazil.
[IAN BRIGHT - Senior Economist at ING] "They've got the most expensive team. And as we know, money plays a very big game as far as economists are concerned. So you've got Spain at the top, then you've got Germany and Brazil and so on. And then at the bottom end of what we call the 'Value League', you've got teams such as Australia, Iran and Honduras for example."
One might wonder - just how did he, a statistician, get to this conclusion?
And... just how accurate is this prediction?
[IAN BRIGHT - Senior Economist at ING] "Now, if money was everything, then yes, Spain takes the cup. But we know that money isn't everything, even for an economist like me. So we've got 'Super Teams', we've got also got to have 'Super Fans'. So what we did was we went into a whole survey of a whole bunch of countries and said, look, how much are you willing to spend, what are you willing to give up. Now, the 'Super Fans' come out to be places like Argentina, Brazil. But the other end to this sort of thing, the 'Non-Super Fans', comes back to the USA. Hardly surprising. They're just not into soccer. So you've got this game play. The super team, and the super fans. Why do we do these sort of things? Let's face it. I don't know who's going to win the World Cup. But you see, you've got this thing where luck is playing in. You've got the money side of things. If you talk about the fans, well... Argentina, Chile, Russia. And then, if you're a pure European, Italy comes in at the top."
So does being good on the pitch translate into economic prowess outside the pitch?
[IAN BRIGHT - Senior Economist at ING] "Let's face it, Germany is the economic power house in Europe at the moment. And it's very good to see that Spain is even doing that well in the leagues compared with Germany, even given the economic situations they have. The football doesn't necessarily affect the economy, but hey, in football... anything can happen. So luck plays a big part in football as it can do in live chances in economics as well."
Of luck and meticulous calculations.
We'll be watching the development on the pitch when the whistle blows in 2 days.
That wraps up this edition of the Business Daily.
I'm Sri Jegarajah, reporting from CNBC's Asian headquarters
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