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Official FIFA World Rankings

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FIFA’s official ranking system for nations was officially introduced in 1992. Initially it was a rather simplistic system, in which a win gave a team 3 points whilst a draw gave the team 1 point. This created a number of problems, based mainly around the fact that it didn’t take into account that some countries continually played weaker nations and as a result would constantly rank higher than more accomplished sides.

After 7 years, FIFA decided to try and rectify this with a new system. In this system teams were awarded up to a maximum of 10 points for a result. The points took into account the following factors:

  • Goals scored/conceded
  • Home or Away game
  • Importance of match / competition
  • Regional strength

Another change was that losers were now able to win points, as points didn’t necessarily depend on winning, drawing or losing.

Whilst this system addressed some the issues, FIFA felt the need to make more changes so in 2006 the system was changed to what we currently see in use today.

Current FIFA World Rankings Calculation Process:

Since the changes in 2006 the following basic points allocation has been in use:

Win (no penalty shootout) – 3 points awarded
Win (penalty shootout) – 2 points awarded
Draw – 1 point awarded
Loss (penalty shootout) – 1 point awarded
Loss (no penalty shootout) – 0 points awarded

Each result has a modifier applying to it based on the status of the match:

Friendlies : 1.0X
World Cup and Continental Cup: 2.5X
Continental Cup and Confederation Cup Finals: 3.0X
World Cup Finals : 4.0X

Results against higher ranked teams should of course be worth more points, and their is a formula which takes this into account:

Opposition strength modifier : 200 – opposition ranking / 100

With the exceptions that the number one ranked is worth 2.0X whilst teams under 150 are a 0.5X modifier.

The last modifier applied is regional strength. Each confederation has a weighting:

UEFA: 1.0X
CONMEBOL: 0.98X
CONCACAF: 0.88X
CAF: 0.85X
AFC: 0.85X
OFC: 0.85X

Those weightings are used in the following formula to determine the modifier:

Regional Strength Modifier : Team 1 regional weighting + Team 2 regional weighting / 2

All of these factors are used to determine how many points either side get from an individual match.

Results over the past 48 months are added together and used that to determine overall ranking, with the following modifiers applied to reflect recent form:

Within the last 12 months 1.0x
12 to 24 months 0.5x
24 to 36 months 0.3X
36 to 48 months 0.2X

Sample FIFA World Rankings Calculation

untitled11 Official FIFA World Rankings

The maximum number of points that can be won in one match is 2,400. Based on this example, the maximum number of points wasn’t obtained because CONMEBOL has a strength of less than 1.0.

Interesting Facts:

  • Coca-Cola have been the awards major sponsor since it’s inception
  • Brazil has dominated the ranking system since it’s inception. Holding the top spot for close to 11 years out of a possible 18 years.

Associated FIFA Awards:

FIFA team of the year:

Awarded to the team whose best seven matches received the most amount of points. This year’s winner was Spain.

FIFA mover of the year:

Awarded to the team that has made the best progress up the rankings chart for that particular year.

Most Successful teams:

Brazil and France have consistently been the most successful sides reflecting their dominance in World Football for the past twenty years.

Current FIFA World Rankings (source)

Last Updated 16 Oct 2009 | Next Release 20 Nov 2009

Ranking Team Pts
Oct 09
+/- Ranking
Sep 09
+/- Pts
Sep 09
1 bra Official FIFA World Rankings Brazil 1632 0 standings Official FIFA World Rankings 28
2 esp Official FIFA World Rankings Spain 1629 0 standings Official FIFA World Rankings 41
3 ned Official FIFA World Rankings Netherlands 1340 0 standings Official FIFA World Rankings -36
4 ita Official FIFA World Rankings Italy 1215 0 standings Official FIFA World Rankings 29
5 ger Official FIFA World Rankings Germany 1161 -1 arrow Down Red Official FIFA World Rankings -25
6 arg Official FIFA World Rankings Argentina 1103 2 arrow Up Green Official FIFA World Rankings -10
7 eng Official FIFA World Rankings England 1101 0 standings Official FIFA World Rankings -26
8 cro Official FIFA World Rankings Croatia 1087 1 arrow Up Green Official FIFA World Rankings -14
9 fra Official FIFA World Rankings France 1049 1 arrow Up Green Official FIFA World Rankings 9
10 por Official FIFA World Rankings Portugal 1042 7 arrow Up Green Official FIFA World Rankings 162
11 usa Official FIFA World Rankings USA 1025 0 standings Official FIFA World Rankings 51
12 rus Official FIFA World Rankings Russia 982 -6 arrow Down Red Official FIFA World Rankings -147
13 sui Official FIFA World Rankings Switzerland 961 2 arrow Up Green Official FIFA World Rankings 63
14 cmr Official FIFA World Rankings Cameroon 949 15 arrow Up Green Official FIFA World Rankings 130
15 cze Official FIFA World Rankings Czech Republic 928 3 arrow Up Green Official FIFA World Rankings 58
16 gre Official FIFA World Rankings Greece 921 -4 arrow Down Red Official FIFA World Rankings -50
17 chi Official FIFA World Rankings Chile 909 4 arrow Up Green Official FIFA World Rankings 63
18 mex Official FIFA World Rankings Mexico 904 6 arrow Up Green Official FIFA World Rankings 69
19 civ Official FIFA World Rankings Côte d’Ivoire 903 1 arrow Up Green Official FIFA World Rankings 51
20 srb Official FIFA World Rankings Serbia 892 -7 arrow Down Red Official FIFA World Rankings -24

One Comment to Official FIFA World Rankings

  1. This is a really cool article, thank you. I did wonder how they got the rankings sorted. Does anyone know how they came to figure out the confederation weightings?