Top 50 Ranked Teams in FIFA and Elo (30 May 2008)

President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter of FIFA.

As a follow-up to my last article about the World Football Elo Ratings, Ahmed asked me to provide the top 50 teams from the latest FIFA rankings, along with the corresponding ratings from the Elo. But first, I will discuss the FIFA system, and how it is calculated.

The FIFA Coca-Cola Men’s World Ranking System

In 1993, FIFA introduced its monthly ranking system. In 2005, the powers that be decided that the system was too complicated, and initiated a study to implement a revision to simplify the calculation.

“Transparency and simplicity – the key principles guiding the revision – have been combined with sporting criteria (i.e. the reality of world football) and statistical requirements to establish the new and simplified method of calculation that the FIFA Executive Committee ratified at its meeting in Leipzig, Germany, on 7 December 2005.

The most important change to the calculation of the ranking is that it will no longer take into account the last eight years of results but only four. At the same time, all of the other factors previously taking into account (result, importance of match, strength of opponents, regional strength, number of matches considered) were tested, analysed and, in some cases, totally revised. In fact, two of the factors that were previously used (goals scored and home advantage) will no longer have any impact on the ranking.

The new method was applied immediately after the FIFA World Cup â„¢, namely, with the first edition published on 12 July 2006.”

Source: FIFA.com: Ranking Procedure and Schedule.

Calculation of points in the FIFA World Ranking

In the following quoted material, FIFA explains their calculation system. Note the emphasis on simplicity. It reminds me of a quote from Forrest Gump. “Stupid is as stupid does.” 🙂 Jokes aside, this is their revised formula, along with one example from World Cup 2006 to give you an idea how it works.

1. Calculation of points for the FIFA World Ranking

The basic logic of these calculations is simple. Any team that does well in world football wins points and lays the foundations for climbing the world ranking. However, the number of points that can actually be won in a match depends on the following factors:

Was the match won, or did it end in a draw? (M)
How important was the match (friendly match to FIFA World Cupâ„¢)? (I)
How strong was the opponent in terms of its ranking position and the confederation to which it belongs? (T and C)

These factors are brought together in the following formula to ascertain the total number of points (P).

P = M x I x T x C x 100

The following codes and conditions apply to the calculation of points:

M: Points for a victory (3 points), a draw (1 point) or a defeat (0 points)

In a penalty shoot-out the winning team gains 2 points, the losing team 1 point.

I
: Importance of a match with the following weighting:

Friendly match (including small tournaments): I = 1.0

World Cup qualifier and continental qualifier: I = 2.5

Continental final competition and FIFA Confederations Cup: I = 3.0

World Cup final competition: I = 4.0

T: Strength of opposition calculated according to the following formula:

[200 — ranking position of opposition] ÷ 100

Only the team at the top of the ranking is assigned the value 2.00 (teams ranked 150th and below are assigned the minimum weighting of 0.50).

The ranking position is taken from the opposition’s ranking in the most recently published FIFA World Ranking.

C: The strength of a confederation. When calculating intercontinental matches, the mean value of the confederations to which the two competing teams belong is used. The strength of a confederation is calculated on the basis of the number of victories by confederation at the last three FIFA World Cupâ„¢ competitions. Their values are as follows.

Confederation After 2006 FIFA World Cupâ„¢ (first value)
Up to and including 2006 FIFA World Cupâ„¢ (second value)

UEFA 1.00 1.00
CONMEBOL 0.98 0.99
CONCACAF 0.85 0.88
AFC 0.85 0.85
CAF 0.85 0.85
OFC 0.85 0.85

2. Examples of calculation (I will only list the first. Please click on the source link to see more).

The following sections feature a number of examples of actual matches to illustrate how points are calculated for the FIFA World Ranking. It should be noted that a team’s ranking position and the total number of points cannot be determined only from the points totals for individual matches. Matches are combined with earlier games to provide an average value, and matches are devalued over a period of four years (100%, 50%, 30%, 20%).

Very high number of points from World Cup final competition:

Brazil v. France (quarter-final, 2006 FIFA World Cupâ„¢)
Team A Team B
Date of match 1 July 2006
Status of match World Cup final competition
Team BRA FRA
Result 0 1
Ranking position 1 6
Regional strength 0.99 1.00
M (points for result) 0 3
I (status of match) 4.0
T (strength of opponent) 1.94 2.00
C (strength of confederation) 0.995

P = M x I x T x C x 100 = (Brazil) 0.0 (France) 2,388.0

The maximum number of points that can be won in one match is 2,400. In this case, the maximum number of points was not attained because CONMEBOL has a strength of less than 1.0.

Source: FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rating: Calculation of Points.

Top 50 Teams in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking as of May 2008

1 Argentina: 1520
2 Brazil: 1518
3 Italy: 1396
4 Spain: 1323
5 Germany: 1264
6 Czech Republic: 1244
7 France: 1205
8 Greece: 1196
9 Portugal: 1131
10 Netherlands: 1123
11 England: 1098
12 Romania: 1082
13 Croatia: 1044
14 Ghana: 1010
15 Scotland: 1007
16 Cameroon: 1005
17 Mexico: 988
18 Bulgaria: 948
19 Colombia: 909
20 Israel: 905
21 USA: 889
22 Côte d’Ivoire: 870
23 Sweden: 862
24 Paraguay: 857
25 Turkey: 856
25 Russia: 856
27 Poland: 848
28 Uruguay: 840
29 Norway: 836
30 Egypt: 822
31 Serbia: 813
32 Ukraine: 774
33 Denmark: 761
34 Finland: 704
34 Northern Ireland: 704
36 Honduras: 691
37 Japan: 684
38 Moldova: 670
39 Nigeria: 660
40 Guinea: 656
41 Chile: 641
41 Republic of Ireland: 641
43 Australia: 634
44 Mali: 632
45 Morocco: 630
46 Senegal: 627
46 Belgium: 627
48 Switzerland: 617
49 Lithuania: 616
50 Korea Republic: 612

Source: The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

The Top 50 Teams from The World Football Elo Ratings: 30 May 2008
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1 Brazil: 2062
2 Argentina: 2003
2 Italy: 2003
4 France: 1983
5 Spain: 1953
6 Netherlands: 1939
7 Germany: 1929
8 England: 1888
9 Czech Republic: 1883
10 Mexico: 1874
11 Romania: 1872
12 Croatia: 1848
13 Portugal: 1833
14 Greece: 1823
15 Egypt: 1806
16 Colombia: 1797
17 Denmark: 1788
18 Uruguay: 1785
19 Turkey: 1782
20 Paraguay: 1780
21 Ghana: 1776
21 USA: 1776
23 Sweden: 1770
24 Bulgaria: 1769
25 Switzerland: 1765
26 Russia: 1762
27 Cameroon: 1761
28 Poland: 1760
29 Ireland: 1744
30 Japan: 1742
31 Cote d’Ivoire: 1735
32 Israel: 1732
33 Scotland: 1731
34 Australia: 1722
35 Iran: 1720
36 Chile: 1713
37 Nigeria: 1709
38 Ukraine: 1707
39 Serbia: 1704
39 Norway: 1704
41 Honduras: 1678
42 Morocco: 1675
43 Ecuador: 1652
44 South Korea: 1648
45 Tunisia: 1641
46 Finland: 1634
47 Saudi Arabia: 1629
48 Venezuela: 1628
49 Wales: 1627
50 Peru: 1614

Source: World Football Elo Ratings.

What are you thoughts about these two systems? Please let us know.

Steve Amoia is the author and editor of World Football Commentaries. He writes for Soccerlens and Keeper Skool.

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