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Final – Sunday, July 15

Past Matches of the Day

Our take:

Croatia, the surprise team of this World Cup, made it to the final for the first time ever. Unfortunately, the quality of Croatian democracy has fallen short of citizens' expectations in recent years. Freedom of the press in particular has come under pressure. There are occasional attempts to influence the media, and public broadcast is susceptible to political parties’ interference. In addition, there is a lack of continuity: not only has the national team replaced the coach twice in the past three years, the prime minister has also been replaced twice since 2015.

French democracy has its very own challenges, which the election campaign last year unsparingly revealed. Nevertheless, due to a stronger fan culture (freedom of speech) and a greater team spirit (social inclusion), the Equipe Tricolore will succeed in this final.

More info on our World Cup Special

Football with flags in goal

The Facts

32 Country Profiles

32 nations are competing in the final round of the World Cup. In brief country profiles, we describe every country's political and social situation that informed our assessments and predictions.  read more

This is how the #DemocracyWorldCup works

We have subjected all 32 participating countries to a rigorous democracy test. Based on the Bertelsmann Stiftung indices – the Transformation Index (BTI) and the Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI) – we evaluate nations in five central areas.

  1. Playmaking: Elections
  2. Fan Culture: Freedom of Speech
  3. Defense: Civil Rights Protection
  4. Team Spirit: Social Inclusion
  5. Fair Play: Corruption Prevention

In order to compare the 32 countries, we have transformed the independent sub-rankings of the two democracy indices BTI and SGI into a common five-level points system, from very poor (1) to very good (5). 

Detailed expert assessments form the basis of all ratings in the five criteria . We have compiled the essential information on each participating country in brief country profiles  – short enough to be read during the warm-up or the half-time break.

We have picked a Match of the Day for every World Cup matchday. The predictions result from a direct comparison of the two opponents along the five criteria. The number of goals scored by a national team corresponds with the number of criteria in which it outperforms the opponent. If both teams are on an equal footing, no goal will be predicted. 

Read more about this World Cup's special in our blog post and find out why we are convinced that football and democracy are more interrelated.

The Knockout Phase at a Glance

Predictions finals