Already in 2006 (World Cup, Italy), 2008 (Euro Cup, Spain) and 2010 (World Cup, Spain) German researchers successfully forecasted who would win the major soccer tournament. The team from FU Berlin and DIW Berlin created an economic model which takes into account market value of individual players and overall homogeneity of entire teams.
Strong correlation between market value and performance
Report authors, Jürgen Gerhards, Michael Mutz und Gert Wagner, argue that following the lifting of international transfer barriers the global market for soccer talent has become increasingly efficient. In addition to that, scouts, managers and trainers permanently observe talented players. Both factors would make it possible to approximate performance of individual players by their market value.
To support this hypothesis, the researchers gathered data from 25 leagues tracing total market value of soccer teams and their success in points gained. They managed to establish the following relationship:
The second important factor is homogeneity of the team. If the market value of individual team members varies too much, a single red card or an injured top player may shift the balance. Data on both factors was used to create the following rank.
According to these forecasts, Spain has the greatest chances of winning the EuroCup. This is due to its very balanced team and great total market value. Germany comes in second and will face Italy on Thursday ranking on place 5. Before that on Wednesday, Portugal (place 7) competes with Spain in the semi-finals.
The complete research report by DIW Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin you may find here