Blog: Lloyd’s successfully predicts World Cup winner for second time

World Cup 2018

This year’s World Cup in Russia has widely been regarded as one of the best ever.

We’ve witnessed host nation Russia out-perform all expectations and deliver an atmosphere many thought impossible, the introduction of new VAR technology to help referee games, and perhaps, most surprisingly, we were treated to a successful England penalty shootout.

Part of what made this World Cup so exciting was its unpredictability, including shock results for top seeds Germany, Portugal and Spain which all failed to reach the quarter-finals.  Many of the predictions from sporting pundits fell quickly by the wayside. So too did the forecasting models developed by financial services firms that relied on metrics that typically tipped Brazil or Germany for success. 

Lloyd’s model, however, which is based on the insurable value of the squads was proved right for a second tournament in a row – as it tipped France for success.  Before the tournament, Lloyd’s analysis identified France as having the squad with the highest insurable value (£1.43bn), which is largely attributable to its relatively young squad of world-class footballers who play across Europe’s top leagues.

Lloyd’s insurable value model also proved reliable in 2014, successfully predicting that Germany would be crowned champions.

The secret lies in the data. The methodology used players’ wages and endorsement incomes, alongside a collection of additional indicators, to estimates players’ incomes until retirement. These projections form the basis for assessing insurable values.

The analysis enabled Lloyd’s to predict who would qualify from their respective groups and progress through knockout stages. The metric proved its worth, correctly predicting the winners in almost two thirds (64%) of the 64 matches played.

We didn’t get everything right, but we did manage to identify England (£1.17bn), Brazil (£1.1bn), and Belgium (£1.03bn) as quarter-finalists, and before the tournament we forecast that England would finish third overall. Belgium had other ideas. Croatia were the shock finalists with an insurable value of just £468.1m, and despite playing well the quality and earning power of the French side prevailed.

Teams now have four years to reflect on what might have been and make their plans for Qatar. What remains to be seen is whether Lloyd’s can make it a hat-trick in 2022 with another successful prediction.    

To learn more about our predictions for the tournament, visit

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