England will win the Rugby World Cup

September 18, 2015

The quadrennial battle for the Webb Ellis Cup begins at Twickenham on Friday. The bookies’ favourite is the New Zealand team. But a Breakingviews data-driven analysis suggests the English rose could triumph – with France edging the always awe-inspiring All Blacks into third.

Thruppence: Should World Cup hosts foot FIFA woes?

June 5, 2015

U.S. authorities are investigating how soccer’s governing body awarded the event to Russia and Qatar. As FIFA’s problems proliferate beyond graft indictments, Breakingviews columnists debate whether it is fair or practical to deprive host countries of the sport’s global fiesta.

Vladimir Putin is the new bad weather

August 4, 2014

The bogeyman of Ukrainian unrest is replacing snow as a reason to expect worse earnings. Just ask VW, Adidas or McDonald’s. The World Cup goes the other way, helping Adidas (again), Twitter and maybe Disney. The message could be muddled when Russia and soccer converge in 2018.

German soccer glory was predictable – with luck

July 13, 2014

Brazil’s World Cup was first-rate entertainment, thanks to many surprising results. In finance, as in sport, forecasting is a dangerous game. But it is where the greatest value lies. The key is to draw conclusions from pertinent facts. Luck helps, too.

If only Argentine economy matched soccer success

July 13, 2014

The nation’s strong World Cup showing reflects astute management of its big fan base and valuable on-field talent. That contrasts with a 100-year record of wasting its human and natural resources. Avoiding policy own-goals could one day make Argentina an economic champion, too.

Numbers show Germany will beat Brazil to World Cup

June 27, 2014

The football-mad host nation has cruised into the knock-out stages of soccer’s jamboree. Some fancied rivals have gone home early. But a Breakingviews calculator – based on hard numbers like transfer value, population and public engagement – suggests Germany will lift the trophy.

English soccer protectionism would be an own goal

June 25, 2014

Even before England’s latest World Cup woes, its ruling body was mulling curbs on foreign players to nurture homegrown talent. That type of “import substitution” could hobble home markets. Financial subsidies for English players to play abroad would work better.

Brazil’s companies need soccer team’s global clout

June 12, 2014

Itaú and 3G could lead the attack with AB InBev in midfield and Petrobras in goal. But the world’s most glamorous soccer nation, and seventh-largest economy, has few global corporate stars. In a World Cup for business, Brazil would struggle to get past the group stage.

Investors cheer for Brazil World Cup rout

By Rob Cox
June 10, 2014

Each dip in Dilma Rousseff’s poll numbers bumps the Bovespa. Markets are hoping her experimental economic policies will come to an end at the October ballot. With labor tight and millions lifted from poverty, however, it will take crushing defeat on the pitch for that to happen.

Three ways for FIFA to score on governance

June 6, 2014

Ugly allegations of corruption have caught soccer’s governing body offside. FIFA’s setup has improved lately but its congress is unrepresentative, its executive committee is too large, and its president is too powerful. The beautiful game should shoot for a hat-trick of reforms.