June 10th, 2010
12:04 PM GMT
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As the 32 squads go at it on the playing fields of South Africa, we could not help but ask if economics plays a part in a country's success.

Who wins the economic World Cup?
Who wins the economic World Cup?

It's easy to say no straight away given that Brazil has won the trophy five times and until recently its economy was far down the 'developing' scale.

The United States and Japan on the other hand have never come close to winning, despite having the world's biggest economies.

Or perhaps, poorer countries have had the edge given that players coming from nothing, work harder at sport.

That of course doesn't fly when you look at the winning sides from Italy, France and Germany.

Someone joked to me this week that teams tend to win the cup during economic upheaval. Take a look at how well Argentina did during its era of hyper inflation.

Does that bode well for Greece or Spain?

So, over the course of the next few weeks throughout the tournament, we will take a look at whether the economy, GDP or wealth of a nation plays any part.

Each day we will preview the day's main match and profile each country to see who would win if economics played a role.

On opening day, we'll put Mexico and South Africa head to head and see who wins off the field when it comes to economic might.

Let us know what you think.

Please leave your comments below and let us know who you think would win.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. sunny

    Wow its really great idea ... Though Bangladesh have never near of world cup ever but if you visit here you will see whole Dhaka city is now city of FLAG , 50% Argentina support 50% Brazil support

    June 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  2. ikwumere isidore


    June 10, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  3. Jerry

    I think it must be the USA – they are just awash with oil

    June 10, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  4. oscar Peñaloza

    come on people!
    there is no need to digress about economical differences when it comes to just soccer, no one questions about golf and summo, it´s very humiliating comparing between soccer and economy, after all, soccer is a whole different thing.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  5. William

    Very well, but just for correct one thing. Argentina's soccer team isn't soo good at this moment, like them economy.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  6. Eward

    I alway encourage for England! reason? no reason. simple that I like when can see England team play. I have encouraged to England for 7 years but never England won. This year, England'll Win! Cheer up, England!

    June 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  7. Anita

    Tell me one thing: what is the relationship between soccer and economy?
    How can you possibly compare and trend the performance of a country's economy and its soccer team when there is no relation? This obviously is a joke.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  8. JC Murta

    I personally go with Jerry' opinion below. I'd say USA or Mexico, now that they are fully feed with "gas". Mostly USA, of course.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  9. Serch

    I think all European countries have the advantage. And of course soccer and economy are related. When country is doing good on the world cup people go out and celebrate, this makes people to spend money. Spending money helps economies.

    June 10, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  10. Nostromo

    The economics of a specific country at a specific moment do not directly influence a country's sporting abilities.
    Mostly the question is cyclic: countries dominate certain sports at certain moments, and then others rise up. Take for example tennis: back in the 60's the USA and Australia dominated the sport. Today other countries like Spain, Argentina, Serbia have come up. Look at athletics: in middle and long-distance races Great Britain dominated; today Kenyans, Moroccans and Ethiopians, etc., lead the field. Back in the 80's and 90's what today is MotoGP was dominated by the USA and Australia, whereas today it is Spain and Italy (I hope Valentino recovers real soon!). In Test cricket, years ago, England were the team to beat – but not today, as India, Australia, West Indies, all can thrash England any day.
    But economics always intervened in the form of state subsidies or direct commercial sponsorships.
    As to football, undoubtedly the phenomenon of world sport, there is one heck of a lot of money being moved buying and selling players, etc. Specifically, here in Spain, football is backed up by the state television network, as well as the clubs spending huge amounts on players from any other club or country, whatever – so as to be the best.
    Mind-boggling, for sure – and Spain's economy at the moment is in a terrible mess.
    But rather than the "mess", it is more a case national patriotism and having the best goal-keeper in the world.

    June 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  11. Dani......

    Thanx for an innovative move, idea is brilliant because it merges the socio-economic state of a specific nation and the spirit alive to show guts in the field of sports. The biggest take away here is actually finding out relationship between economic turmoils and nations' state of moral while in dire straits may it be poverty, internal security, rating poor on Human Development Index. Sill, if or not spirit is alive or gone , too.

    June 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  12. Wilson Fragata

    Really, compares football with economics...it's terrible. It look like a excuse for those country that think is better than other countrys in economics and got jealousy from football champion's country.
    P.S.: USA is not rich, Japan is rich. For me country rich, is the country that don't obstruct other countrys to get wealth.

    June 10, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  13. Ishrat Rumy

    Would you kindly stop for once from viewing everything in the world through materialistic glasses? We need a break! “Let’s just rejoice in this beautiful game”, together, from around the world.

    June 10, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  14. Viet nam

    i like Italy's soccer and players, i hope this team will doubt win in South Africa, but the history is protested reality!

    June 10, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  15. Robert A. Hofmann

    Time for world cup to embrase technology? There is another way to obliterate horrible calls. The apposing coach could, as a courtesy, order an own goal to erase the blunder.

    June 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
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    September 1, 2013 at 11:23 am |

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