Argentina will win the World Cup against Portugal in the final, according to the firm’s logic. The reasoning? There’s a high probability that the final match will end in penalty kicks, and Argentina has a historical advantage in both experience and success.
If accurate, it would mean that two of the world’s greatest players, Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, will duel it out on the field.
“Choosing between Messi and Ronaldo is like choosing between Mozart and Beethoven or between Da Vinci and Michelangelo – it is less a matter of objective analysis and more a matter of tastes,” BCA’s researchers wrote. “Relying on cold numerical logic and hard data is no better.”
BCA came to its conclusion that Argentina would win based on what it called “a unique two-step model combining macro and micro variables as well as our very own soccertise” that includes tapping a database of player statistics from the FIFA video game simulation. The researchers began by forecasting the group stage matches using data like the team’s average player rating and past team performance. Then they moved to the knockout rounds, using similar calculations, while also including variables like the “winner’s curse”—the historical unlikelihood that a team will repeat as champions. That means France was penalized in the number crunching because of its World Cup championship in 2018.