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FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings, February 2018

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UEFA Dominates the Beautiful Game.

It’s one of the fiercest debates in sports. What region plays the best futbol? Our allegiance to Seleccion Colombia makes us biased, but we try to be impartial. Most fans would agree Western Europe and South America plays the best brand of the beautiful game. The national teams for those regions are UEFA and CONMEBOL respectively. The South American brand of futbol features speed, passing, and a tactical domination of the ball. European soccer is generally more physical with less of an emphasis on possession and more on headers and shots on goal. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on FIFA’s world rankings of men’s national teams to get a sense what region actually reigns supreme.

brazilnationalteam
Brazil qualifying team for Russia 2018. Currently No. 2 in FIFA World Rankings.

Six CONMEBOL teams qualified for Russia 2018. But, in world rankings, Germany (UEFA) is currently number one and defending World Cup champions. Plus, out of the top 20 teams in the world, 14 teams hail from Europe. The region with the second most members represented, CONMEBOL, with five. Russia will go a long way in settling what conference is the best.

Trust the Process

After the 2006 FIFA World Cup, FIFA’s world ranking system was amended. The global fútbol press pushed FIFA to create a new ranking system. The biggest changes were dropping the home-pitch advantage and the number of goals from calculations.

Like most scoring systems, the FIFA world rankings try to standardize success despite national teams playing a different number of matches annually. Also, the rankings factor in the differing strengths of opposition teams plays. The factors used by FIFA are, match results, match status (qualifier, international friendly, regional championship) opposition strength, and strength of the regional conference.

The average points gained over each calendar year between World Cups determine teams’ final scores. Wins within the last year are weighted more heavily than the previous three.

RankFlagTeamConfederationTotal Points
1germanynationalflagGermanyUEFA1602
2brazilnationalflagBrazilCONMEBOL1483
3portugalnationalflagPortugalUEFA1358
4argentinanationalflagArgentinaCONMEBOL1348
5belgiumnationalflagBelgiumUEFA1325
6spainnationalflagSpainUEFA1231
7polandnationalflagPolandUEFA1209
8suinationalflagSwitzerlandUEFA1190
9francenationalflagFranceUEFA1183
10chilenationalflagChileCONMEBOL1162
11perunnationalflagPeruCONMEBOL1128
12denmarknationalflagDenmarkUEFA1099
13colombianationalflagColombiaCONMEBOL1078
14italiannationalflagItalyUEFA1052
15CroatiaUEFA1048
16englishnationalflagEnglandUEFA1047
17mexicannationalflagMexicoCONCACAF1032
18swedishnationalflagSwedenUEFA1000
19welchnationalflagWalesUEFA985
20icelandnationalflagIcelandUEFA985
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