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FIFA World Rankings facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Top 30 Rankings as of 10 December 2020
Rank Change Team Points
1 Steady  Belgium 1780
2 Steady  France 1755
3 Steady  Brazil 1743
4 Steady  England 1670
5 Steady  Portugal 1662
6 Steady  Spain 1645
7 Steady  Argentina 1642
8 Steady  Uruguay 1639
9 Steady  Mexico 1632
10 Steady  Italy 1625
11 Steady  Croatia 1617
12 Steady  Denmark 1614
13 Steady  Germany 1610
14 Steady  Netherlands 1609
15 Steady  Colombia 1601
16 Steady  Switzerland 1593
17 Steady  Chile 1567
18 Steady  Wales 1562
19 Steady  Poland 1559
20 Steady  Senegal 1558
20 Steady  Sweden 1558

The FIFA World Rankings is a ranking of men's football teams selected by FIFA. Currently, the team ranked #1 is Belgium. The rankings were first made in 1993. The first team to receive first place was Germany.

A points system is used, with points being awarded based on the results of all FIFA-recognized full international matches.

FIFA announced in June 2018 that the ranking system would be updated following the 2018 World Cup. The calculation method to be adopted will be closely modeled after the Elo rating system and rankings of its member associations will be updated on a game-by-game basis. The weighting designated for each confederation for ranking purposes was removed. However, the new method does not account for home or away games and margin of the victory, unlike the Elo rankings. This produced a more altered ranking table, with Germany falling to 15th and 2018 World Cup champions France moving to the top of the ranking.

Men's rank leaders

FIFA World Men's Ranking Leaders

When the system was created, Germany began as the top-ranked team following their dominant period in which they had reached the three previous FIFA World Cup finals, winning one of them. Brazil took the lead in the run up to the 1994 FIFA World Cup after winning eight and losing only one of nine qualification matches, while on the way scoring twenty goals and conceding just four. Italy then led for a short time on the back of their own equally successful World Cup qualifying campaign, after which the top place was re-claimed by Germany.

Brazil's success in their 1993 qualifying campaign returned them to the lead for a brief period. Germany led again during the 1994 World Cup, until Brazil's victory in that competition gave them a large lead that would stand up for nearly seven years, until they were surpassed by a strong France team that captured both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2000 UEFA Euro.

Success at the 2002 FIFA World Cup restored Brazil to the top position, where they remained until February 2007, when Italy returned to the top for the first time since 1993 following their 2006 FIFA World Cup win in Germany. Just one month later, Argentina replaced them, reaching the top for the first time, but Italy regained its place in April. After winning the Copa América 2007 in July, Brazil returned to the top, but were replaced by Italy in September and then Argentina in October.

In July 2008, Spain took over the lead for the first time, having won UEFA Euro 2008. Brazil began a sixth stint at the top of the rankings in July 2009 after winning the 2009 Confederations Cup, and Spain regained the title in November 2009 after winning every match in qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In April 2010, Brazil returned to the top of the table. After winning the 2010 World Cup, Spain regained the top position and held it until August 2011, when the Netherlands reached the top spot for the first time, only to drop it the following month.

In July 2014, Germany took over the lead once again, having won the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In July 2015, Argentina reached the top spot for the first time since 2008, after reaching both the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, as well as the 2015 Copa America Final. In November 2015, Belgium became the leader in the FIFA rankings for the first time, after topping their Euro 2016 qualifying group. Belgium led the rankings until April 2016, when Argentina returned to the top. Brazil returned to the No. 1 spot in April 2017 for the first time since just prior to the 2010 World Cup, because they had already qualified for the 2018 World Cup as they were 1st in their qualification group with 4 match days still left to go. However, Germany regained the top spot in July after winning the Confederations Cup.

In the summer of 2018, FIFA updated their rating system by adopting the Elo rating system. The first ranking list with this system, in August 2018, saw France retake the top spot for the first time after nearly 16 years, having won the 2018 FIFA World Cup. One month later, for the first time, two teams were both leaders as Belgium reached the same ranking as France. This lasted only one month, and from September 2018 until now (as of April 2020), Belgium is leading the FIFA ranking.


Team of the year

Year First place Second place Third place
1993  Germany (1)  Italy  Brazil
1994  Brazil (1)  Spain  Sweden
1995  Brazil (2)  Germany  Italy
1996  Brazil (3)  Germany  France
1997  Brazil (4)  Germany  Czech Republic
1998  Brazil (5)  France  Germany
1999  Brazil (6)  Czech Republic  France
2000  Brazil (7)  France  Argentina
2001  France (1)  Argentina  Brazil
2002  Brazil (8)  France  Spain
2003  Brazil (9)  France  Spain
2004  Brazil (10)  France  Argentina
2005  Brazil (11)  Czech Republic  Netherlands
2006  Brazil (12)  Italy  Argentina
2007  Argentina (1)  Brazil  Italy
2008  Spain (1)  Germany  Netherlands
2009  Spain (2)  Brazil  Netherlands
2010  Spain (3)  Netherlands  Germany
2011  Spain (4)  Netherlands  Germany
2012  Spain (5)  Germany  Argentina
2013  Spain (6)  Germany  Argentina
2014  Germany (2)  Argentina  Colombia
2015  Belgium (1)  Argentina  Spain
2016  Argentina (2)  Brazil  Germany
2017  Germany (3)  Brazil  Portugal
2018  Belgium (2)  France  Brazil
2019  Belgium (3)  France  Brazil
2020  Belgium (4)  France  Brazil

Performance by team

Team First place Second place Third place Top 3
 Brazil 12 4 5 21
 Spain 6 1 3 10
 Belgium 4 0 0 4
 Germany 3 6 4 13
 Argentina 2 3 5 10
 France 1 8 2 11
 Netherlands 0 2 3 5
 Italy 0 2 2 4
 Czech Republic 0 2 1 3
 Portugal 0 0 1 1
 Colombia 0 0 1 1
 Sweden 0 0 1 1

Best Mover of the Year

The Best Mover of the Year was awarded to the team who made the best progress up the rankings over the course of the year. In the FIFA rankings, this is not simply the team that has risen the most places, but a calculation is performed in order to account for the fact that it becomes progressively harder to earn more points the higher up the rankings a team is.

The calculation used is the number of points the team has at the end of the year (z) multiplied by the number of points it earned during the year (y). The team with the highest index on this calculation received the award. The table below shows the top three best movers from each year.

The award has not been an official part of the awards since 2006.

Year First place Second place Third place
1993  Colombia  Portugal  Morocco
1994  Croatia  Brazil  Uzbekistan
1995  Jamaica  Trinidad and Tobago  Czech Republic
1996  South Africa  Paraguay  Canada
1997  Yugoslavia  Bosnia and Herzegovina  Iran
1998  Croatia  France  Argentina
1999  Slovenia  Cuba  Uzbekistan
2000  Nigeria  Honduras  Cameroon
2001  Costa Rica  Australia  Honduras
2002  Senegal  Wales  Brazil
2003  Bahrain  Oman  Turkmenistan
2004  China  Uzbekistan  Ivory Coast
2005  Ghana  Ethiopia  Switzerland
2006  Italy  Germany  France

While an official award has not been made for movements since 2006, FIFA has released a list of the 'Best Movers' in the rankings since 2007.

Year Best mover Second best Third best
2007  Mozambique  Norway  New Caledonia
2008  Spain  Montenegro  Russia
2009  Brazil  Algeria  Slovenia
2010  Netherlands  Montenegro  Botswana
2011  Wales  Sierra Leone  Bosnia and Herzegovina
2012  Colombia  Ecuador  Mali
2013  Ukraine  Armenia  United States
2014  Germany  Slovakia  Belgium
2015  Turkey  Hungary  Nicaragua
2016  France  Peru  Poland
2017  Denmark  Sweden  Bolivia
2018  France  Uruguay  Kosovo
2019  Qatar  Algeria  Japan
2019  Hungary  Ecuador  Malta

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Clasificación mundial de la FIFA para niños

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