This should have been the final….
In my family we have a league table of football punditry. For every tournament we predict who will be in the final, who will be the surprise team in a good way, who will be the most disappointing team, who will be the leading goal scorer and, in the case of the English Premier League, who will be the first manager to be sacked. I predicted a Brazil-Germany final for the World Cup (which just shows how closely I looked at who was on which side of the draw).
My excuse of course is that I am far too busy looking at trade data to worry about football. But, hot off the presses of last week’s successful predictions (Germany to reach the semi-finals and 2-1 Brazil-Colombia based on coffee exports), I now appear to be the German British Forum’s official football pundit.
I am flattered of course, but slightly nervous as this one is difficult to call. To what extent does football matter here? Brazil have home advantage – the 12th man – which is just as well because Neymar is injured and Thiago Silva suspended. Germany are sticking to the playing ugly and do not appear to have been affected by virus that swept through their camp last week (man-flu for media purposes maybe?).
On balance, the game is too hard to call on footballing grounds but on trade grounds really easy. Germany’s exports to Brazil are forecast to grow at twice the rate of Brazil’s exports to Germany. 2-1 to Germany seems the inevitable conclusion and supported by the fact that two of Brazil’s fastest growing imports from Germany are medicines and medical equipment – a legacy of injuries sustained in the World Cup perhaps?