Fifa Rankings: 2010 to now

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There are many that swear by them, and those that heavily question FIFA’s rankings system. Yet whatever your outlook on the world governing body’s complex system used to grade national sides, it is fair to say that the rankings do give some indication of a nation's current form in recent months.

One cannot deny the recent upsurge of a previously lowly-ranked Belgian side, who were not even in the top 50 four years ago, failing to qualify for South Africa 2010. Yet their current star-studded side, including the likes of Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Romelu Lukaku, powered the Red Devils to top spot in their qualifying group, and automatic qualification for Brazil 2014. They are the biggest jumpers in the Fifa rankings from 2010, climbing a mammoth 48 spots from 59th place to 11th in the current rankings.

Bosnia-Herzegovina deserve special mention as well, topping their qualifying group and qualifying for their first-ever World Cup in the history of their recently-formed country. They climbed 30 spots to 21st from their ranking of 51 four years ago.

Eighth-placed Colombia have also shone of late, mixing their weight with the traditional powerhouses on the South American continent. They moved up 27 spots from 35th place at the time of the last World Cup, while Switzerland have also impressed, lying 6th in the current standings compared to 24th place at South Africa 2010.

Along with the biggest climbers come the biggest fallers – and the biggest losers from 2010 are Australia, dropping a whopping 42 places from 20th to 62nd on the table, and are the lowest-ranked team at this year’s Mundial.

Two African teams have also fallen substantially from their rankings four years ago, as Cameroon dropped 37 spots from 19th to 56th position, while Nigeria’s Super Eagles fell 23 positions down the table from 21st to 44th.

Out of interest, 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa were 83rd just before the tournament kicked off. They are now up to 65th.

Whether the rankings are just numbers, or a true reflection of a team’s overall quality and an indication of how they will perform, we’ll have to wait and see.

 

Table comparing 2014 to 2010 Fifa World Rankings

Country

      2014 Ranking

    2010 Ranking

          Difference

Spain 1 2                     +1
Germany 2 6                     +4
Brazil 3 1 -2
Portugal 4 3 -1
Argentina 5 7                     +2
Switzerland 6 24                   +18
Uruguay 7 16                     +9
Colombia 8 35                   +27
Italy 9 5                      -4
England 10 8                      -2
Belgium 11 59                   +48
Greece 12 13                     +1
USA 13 14                     +1
Chile 14 18                     +4
Netherlands 15 4                    -11
France 17 9 -8
Croatia 18 10 -8
Russia 19 11 -8
Mexico 20 17 -3
Bosnia 21 51                   +30
Algeria 22 30                     +8
Ivory Coast 23 27                     +4
Ecuador 26 44                   +18
Costa Rica 28 40                   +12
Honduras  33 38                     +5
Ghana 37 32 -5
Iran 43 61 +18
Nigeria 44 21 -23
Japan 46 45 -1
Cameroon 56 19                    -37
Korea Republic 57 47                    -10
Australia 62 20                    -42


Interesting Fact: Ukraine (16) are the highest-ranked team not participating in this year’s World Cup

FIFA Ranking explained

FIFA’s current ranking system, revised after the 2006 World Cup, is based on a number of factors, including the match result, the importance of the fixture, the strength of the opposition team and the strength of the opposition’s confederation. These are then multiplied to receive a points tally upon which the ranking table is based.

The points ranking is based on the following calculation:

P = M x I x T x C

P= Points

M= Match result (Win= 3, Draw= 1. Loss= 0)

I= Importance of match (Friendly, Qualifier or Tournament fixture)

T= Strength of opposition (Based on current ranking)

C= Strength of confederation (Based on number of victories by teams from that confederation in the previous three World Cups)

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