Other than the rampant corruption and their minimalist approach to handling racist, sexist and homophobic behavior in the sport, the FIFA ranking system was of the worst things about soccer’s governing body. And since they don’t seem to want to fix any of the other things I said, and maybe make things worse, FIFA at least improved the ranking formula that determines how national teams are ranked.

The current system is modeled after the Elo ranking and while it’s not perfect, it is better than the old system which used four years worth of results and a weighted system that could be easily exploited. For instance, in the new system, it is almost more beneficial to not play rather than play and wind up losing. Case in point, the USMNT moved up three spots from 25 to 22 despite not participating in the World Cup. This was due to World Cup teams ahead of them who disappointed and dropped many spots.

At the top of the order is France, which makes sense since they were in the World Cup final. Runners-up Croatia moved up 16 spots and into fourth. Semifinalists Belgium and England are placed second and sixth respectively.

One team that took a huge drop is Germany. The reigning number one team who finished last in their group at the World Cup dropped to 15th, just ahead of Mexico. So while the rankings are still not accurate (because Germany is certainly better than 15th) and may focus a bit too much on recent results, or lack thereof, this ranking is an improvement.

Top 25 FIFA Rankings (next ranking September 20)
1) France – 1726 points, +6 positions pre-World Cup (highest UEFA team)
2) Belgium – 1723, +1
3) Brazil – 1657, -1 (highest CONMEBOL team)
4) Croatia – 1643, +16
5) Uruguay – 1627, +9
6) England – 1615, +6
7) Portugal – 1599, -3
8) Switzerland – 1597, -2
9) Spain – 1580, +1
9) Denmark – 1580, +3
11) Argentina – 1574, -6
12) Chile – 1570, -3
13) Sweden – 1565, +11
14) Colombia – 1563, +2
15) Germany – 1561, -14
16) Mexico – 1560, -1 (highest Concacaf team)
17) Netherlands – 1540, +0
18) Poland – 1538, -10
19) Wales – 1536, -1
20) Peru – 1535, -9
21) Italy – 1532, -2
22) United States – 1508, +3
23) Austria – 1502, +3
24) Tunisia – 1498, -3 (highest CAF team)
24) Senegal – 1498, +3 (highest CAF team)

Notable teams outside the top 25
32) Costa Rica – 1471, -9
32) Iceland – 1471, -10
32) Iran – 1471, +5 (highest AFC team)
49) Russia – 1410, +21 (biggest rise)
65) Egypt – 1355, -20 (biggest drop)
119) New Zealand – 1157 (highest OFC team)
206 and last) Anguilla, Bahamas, Eritrea, Somalia, Tonga, Turks and Caicos Islands – 868 points,

About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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