After toppling Spain in the semi-finals, Lionel Messi’s Argentina will beat old rivals England in the December 18 final in Qatar to lift their first World Cup in 36 years, Liberum Capital Ltd strategist Joachim Klement said in a note on Tuesday.
Klement added that the model has correctly predicted the winners of the past two World Cups in 2014 and 2018 – Germany and France, respectively. He cautioned that the process includes “an element of chance” and added that he has several excuses prepared in case his prediction is wrong.
“I have been working in the financial services industry for more than 20 years and if I have perfected one thing, it is how to find excuses for faulty predictions,” he said. “If I am right, it’s skill and if I am wrong, it’s somebody else’s fault.”
Klement’s model factors-in current team strength as well as socioeconomic variables that previous research has shown affect an international football team’s performance, such as per-capita GDP, population size and country temperature, he said.
Several investment banks publish predictions before major football tournaments. Goldman Sachs used data on about 6,000 matches to devise a probability model ahead of Euro 2020. Goldman initially picked Belgium to win that tournament, before later switching to England, who ended as runners-up.
The footballing rivalry between England and Argentina goes back decades. The infamous “Hand of God” goal scored by Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final in Mexico – a tournament Argentina went on to win – is seen as a major moment. England have won the World Cup just once, in 1966.
Liberum’s Klement also used his note to express his love for the beautiful game.
“Your job, your marriage, the birth of your children, none of that matters compared to the question of which random assortment of 20-something millionaires are most successful at kicking a children’s toy across a lawn,” he added.