Wednesday, July 12, 2006

New FIFA rankings - Brazil still number 1

FIFA has released their first rankings under a new system that weights games and confederations differently. The say this should take away the advantages that teams like the US, Mexico, Japan and others get from play in confederations where the overall quality of play is not as strong as it is in Europe or South America. We'll see if this holds up over the next four years.

Interestingly enough, no matter how you rate it, Brazil is still the best in the world, on paper.

Just like in the World Cup, the big losers are teams from Asia and CONCACAF. In the last ranking of the old system, Japan was is 18th, Iran was 23rd, South Korea was 29th and Saudi Arabia was 34th. Now they are 49th, 47th, 56th and 81st. For CONCACAF, it was a little kinder. Mexico was 4th, US 5th, Costa Rica 26th and Trinidad and Tobago stood at 47th. Now they are 18th, 16th, 45th and 64th.

Anyway, here is the new top 20

RankTeamMay RankChange
10Czech Republic2-8
20Côte d'Ivoire32+12

Overall, the biggest winners in terms of moving up the rankings are Canada (83rd to 54th, +29), Ukraine (45th to 15th, +30), Chad (159th to 128th, +31), Seychelles (176th to 141st, +35) and Equatorial Guinea who just flew up the chart from 154th to 95th (+59).

As for the biggest losers, we have Jamaica (46th to 78th, -32) Iraq (52nd to 88th, -36), Bahrain (54th to 94th, -40), Luxembourg (152nd to 194th, -42) and the team that fell to Earth the most, Saudi Arabia (34th to 81st, -47).

One last number to look at, the only Asian confederation team to move up is the newest one of all, Australia (42nd to 33rd, +9). The Socceroos very easy could become the new Asian super power.

In the end, these rankings do not mean much. However, they do help shape opinion. I could very easily see these rankings, along with the performances of teams at the 2006 World Cup, being used to change the allotted number of spots award to each confederation for the 2010 World Cup. They could be used to try and change CONCACAF's allotment from 3.5 to 2.5 spots and Asia's from 4.5 to 3.5. Those two spots could be split between Africa and South America very easily (I would be surprised if Africa doesn't get one additional spot since South Africa is automatically in).

It is a bit early to guess, but it is obvious from these rankings which confederations are swinging up and which are falling down.



Anonymous JB said...

Thanks for the information on the rankings, very helpful. Hopefully FIFA's new system holds up, the old one was ridiculously stupid...the ironic thing about the updated rankings is that any yahoo with a little soccer knowledge could have basically picked this same top 10 in just about the same order 3 months ago or even a year ago but yet FIFA kept publishing that old nonsense ranking...finally they got with the times...

11:03 AM  
Blogger Mike H said...


amen to that.

12:30 PM  

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