June 11th, 2010
03:39 PM GMT
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Ok, so it wasn't really much of a debate yesterday; there is absolutely no correlation between a country's GDP or population and its success at football.

That is not the case in say the Olympics, but when it comes to playing the world's most popular sport, all you need is a ball and something to make a goal. Maybe that is why football is such a great equalizer.

So, let’s look at who WOULD win if it was down to the economy, starting with the most important game of the weekend: England vs. USA.

America's growth is currently three times that of the UK (hard to find stats just for England) and its budget deficit is lower than that in the UK. Though unemployment in the UK is much lower than in the USA, I give the edge to the USA (I was born there after all).

As for the others matches: Korea would easily beat poor Greece (4.5 percent growth vs. minus 2 percent), Nigeria would bury Argentina (7 percent growth vs. 3.5 percent). And past winners Uruguay would easily beat the 1998 champions France (5.7 percent growth vs. 1.5 percent).

What about the hosts? South Africa's economy is growing but not as fast as Mexico's, and Mexico has a much lower unemployment rate.

In fact, Mexico should go far in this tournament. If you just look at how fast its economy is growing coupled with its love of the sport.

Mexico vs. South Africa: Fans blow a Vuvuzela at Soccer City

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