On Sunday, hundreds of millions of people around the world will gather in front of their TVs to watch the much anticipated final game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After nearly a month of (mostly) exciting matches, Germany and Argentina face off for all the glory. In terms of overall World Cup victories, Germany is going after their fourth and Argentina is going after their third. The last time these two teams met in a World Cup final was 1990, when the Germans (then playing as "West Germany") defeated Argentina 1-0.
Germany comes to Sunday's match with a World Cup record of 5 wins and 1 tie (against Ghana). As you probably have heard, in their most recent match Germany absolutely demolished Brazil, winning 7-1 in the semi-finals. Argentina comes to the match with a perfect World Cup record of six straight wins.
Zee Germans arguably have a more even distribution of team talent across several star players. The Argentinians have Lionel Messi, who is arguably the greatest player in the history of the sport. Vegas odd-makers are currently giving a slight edge to the German squad, but so far in this World Cup Vegas predictions have been mediocre at best. But enough with the soccer stats! This is Celebrity Net Worth! Let's get to the most important comparison: How does the richest person in Germany stack up against the richest person in Argentina???
The Richest Person in Germany:
Name: Karl Albrecht
Net Worth: $26.1 billion
Source of wealth: Karl Albrecht is the owner of Aldi Sued, Germany's second largest grocery chain with 4800 locations across Europe. He was born on February 20, 1920, in Essen Germany. He served in the German Army during WWII and was wounded while stationed on the Russian front. He returned back home to Essen in 1946 with younger brother Theo and began to work at their mother's grocery store. By the early 1950s, the brothers had expanded from one location to 30 discount grocers. They also changed the name to "Albrechts". By the early 1960s, they had expanded to more than 300 stores and changed the name to "Aldi" which is an abbreviation of "Albrecht-Discount". A few years later, the Albrecht brothers agreed to split their empire in half with Theo taking over the newly named "Aldi Nord (north) and Karl taking "Aldi Sued" (south). Over the next several decades, both Aldi companies continued expanding at extremely rapid paces. In 1979, Theo purchased Trader Joe's. Aldi Nord still controls 100% of Trader Joe's to this day. Today Aldi Sued operates over 4800 locations around the world, including 1300 in the United States. Aldi Sued generates an estimated $50 billion dollars per year in gross revenue globally every year. Incredibly, Karl Albrecht still owns 100% of Aldi Sued to this day. Theo Albrecht died in 2010 at the age of 88.
Karl is notorious for being extremely reclusive and secretive ever since his brother Theo was kidnapped in 1971. Theo was held captive for 17 days until a ransom of $2 million dollars was paid (roughly $12 million in today's dollars). Karl is so private that he has never given a public interview in his entire life and there is only one known photo of him in existence. The photo is very small and blurry so it's not even worth posting here. Karl's net worth of $26 billion dollars coincidentally makes Karl the 26th richest person in the world, as of this writing.
The Richest Person in Argentina:
Name: Carlos and Alejandro Bulgheroni
Net Worth: $6 billion ($3 billion each)
Source of wealth: Carlos and Alejandro Bulgheroni, as you might have guessed, are brothers. They are each worth $3 billion dollars thanks to the company their father started, Bridas Energy. The brothers each own 25% of the Bridas, and Carlos currently serves as CEO. The other 50% of Bridas was purchased in 2010 by the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation for $3.1 billion in cash. Founded in 1948, Bridas derives the vast majority of its value thanks to its 40% ownership stake in Pan American Energy. The other 60% of Pan American is owned by British Petroleum (BP). Argentina is the 26th largest oil producing country in the world with overall output estimated at 800,000 barrels per day. Pan American is responsible for 17% of Argentina's annual oil exports, an estimated 130,000 barrels per day.
The last known revenue statistics for Bridas are from 1997, when the company grossed $600 million and profited $300 million. But we can estimate their current revenues and profits using their barrel output stats and the current price per barrel of $100. (130,000 barrels per day multiplied by $100 per barrel) multiplied by 365 days per year $4.745 billion in revenue per year. Assuming they've managed to maintain the same margins as in 1997, we would assume the company generates roughly $2.3 billion in profits every year.
We decided to count the brothers as one person because their assets are so closely fairly indistinguishable. Also, even if we treated them separately, their $3 billion respective net worths are still higher than the next richest person in Argentina, Eduardo Eurnekian who has $1.9 billion.
Overall Wealth Comparison:
If we are judging a country just by their wealthiest billionaires, unfortunately Germany has a pretty big edge here as well. Karl Albrecht could buy and sell the Bulgheroni brothers four times over and still have a few billion dollars laying around. Furthermore, Argentina is currently home to a total of five billionaires. These Argentinian billionaires control a combined $12 billion in total wealth. By comparison, Germany is currently home to 87 billionaires. These German billionaires control a combined $403 billion dollars in total wealth!
As you probably noticed, by pretty much every wealth-metric Germany demolishes Argentina just as badly as they demolished Brasil in the Semi-finals.
So who are you gonna root for on Sunday? Oh, and one more very important country-comparison metric that I just remembered. Below are the two top images that just popped up when I randomly did a google image search for "Argentinian girls" and "German girls" a few minutes ago. For… research purposes. Not sure if these photos sway your opinion either way, but they are fun to look at…