Which department’s teams have the best chance of winning the World Cup?
Lisa Fairbrother June 17th 2014
The World Cup is now well underway and I’m sure a lot of people around the world are already missing a good few hours’ sleep!
Based on the languages spoken in the countries represented at the World Cup, I thought it might be fun to compare the departments in the Faculty of Foreign Studies and look at each department’s chances of winning. Rather than paying attention to the FIFA rankings, football fans in the UK are more likely to trust the predictions of the bookmakers (the betting shops that set the odds of each team’s chances of winning, commonly referred to as ‘the bookies’) so I had a look at the top 15 rankings set by bookmakers William Hill before the tournament officially kicked off.
The bookies’ favourite is currently the host country, Brazil, and Portugal is also ranked 11th, so the Portuguese department is definitely in the lead. Brazil has also won the World Cup five times before, however never at home. The last time Brazil played at home they got to the final but lost to Spanish-speaking Uruguay, which brings us nicely to the Spanish department. There are actually five Spanish-speaking countries in the top 15 (Argentina, Spain Colombia, Uruguay and Chile) and Argentina is ranked second so the Spanish department is also a very strong contender.
The French department comes next with France, Belgium, Switzerland (shared with the German department), and The Ivory Coast, followed by the German department, represented by Germany and Switzerland. Although the English department has 7 teams to follow (see my earlier post for the details), only England and the high-TOEFL-scoring Netherlands are backed by the bookies. That puts us just slightly ahead of the Russian department, which has one team, Russia, represented in the top 15.
So, that sets the Portuguese and Spanish departments as the Faculty favourites. Of course if Japan wins, the Faculty loses but we are all winners!