NPD Sports Tracking Europe, the sports specialist marketing research firm, asked 1,000 people in each of the five biggest European markets who they thought would win the 2006 World Cup.
Brazil won the poll with 38.4 per cent of the votes, more than three times the votes of its nearest rival. The South American soccer powerhouse can a close second (to England) among the Britons, a more distant second (to Italy) among the Italians and an even more distant second (to France) among the French.
Brazil ranked first among the Spaniards, though the Spanish team ranked a respectable second. Nearly half the Germans thought Brazil would win, while less than a quarter had faith in the home team.
The research, conducted by NPD Sports Tracking Europe in association with online fieldwork partner Research Now, also looked at attitudes towards buying replica shirts and television viewing patterns.