JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Germany will retain their World Cup title in Moscow to equal Brazil’s record of five wins in the tournament, according to a Reuters poll of financial specialists more used to predicting market moves.
In a May 16-31 survey of regular Reuters poll participants from across the globe, Germany’s national football team got the highest number of nods – 43 out of 145 analysts – to lift the trophy in July.
Brazil placed second with 37 votes, evoking prospects of a final between the two long-term rivals.
Four years ago Germany humiliated then hosts Brazil in a crushing 7-1 defeat that reduced fans clad in yellow, blue and green to tears and stunned silence in Belo Horizonte’s Estádio Mineirão.
“Germany have a good combination of skill and discipline and are not overly dominated by any one star player, but rather a high level of players throughout,” said Frank Blackmore, chief economist at EFConsult in Johannesburg.
“Hence, my choice of Germany as 2018 winners.”
Luiz Roberto Monteiro, a trader at Renascença brokerage in São Paulo, said many people wanted Brazil to win “because there’s a lot at stake after the Germany fiasco.
“But I think they are thinking with their hearts. Brazil depend too much on a small number of players, particularly (star forward) Neymar. It’s a good team but I don’t think they’ll get past the semifinals.”