Football Rankings: How does it Work? Explained

The football rankings of FIFA are the ultimate ranking system in international football. It is an indicator of consistency in international football, and it is no surprise that heavyweights Brazil, Argentina, and France are among the top five teams in football.

What is FIFA Football Rankings? 

FIFA introduced football rankings in 1992. The football governing body ranks both men’s and women’s teams based on their performances in international friendlies, continental tournaments, the world cup, etc. The most consistently performing nation climbs to the top of the FIFA rankings.

How does FIFA Calculate Football Rankings?

FIFA uses the Elo rating system to rank the teams. It gives more importance to a team’s performance in major tournaments like FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro Cup, Copa America, AFC Asian Cup, etc., than the international friendlies, which also count towards ranking. 

Teams earn more points for their performances in the group stage and knockout rounds of prominent football tournaments. FIFA updates the football rankings frequently. 

The top-ranked sides in FIFA don’t automatically qualify for the World Cup or continental tournaments. Like lower-ranked teams, they have to play in the qualifying round. However, the top seven teams in the football rankings are placed in Pot 1 in the FIFA World Cup group stage draw.

Latest FIFA Football Team Rankings

Five-time World Champions Brazil currently leads the men’s FIFA world rankings. The Selecao has 1841.30 points, while second-placed Belgium accumulated 1816.71 points.

Argentina, France, and England are in third, fourth, and fifth positions. Meanwhile, Iran is the highest-ranked Asian country in the men’s rankings, occupying the 20th spot. 

USA, the four-time World Champions, is the No 1 team in the FIFA women’s rankings, while European outfits – Sweden, Germany, England, and France – occupy the following four places in the table. At 10th, North Korea is the top-ranked Asian nation in the women’s rankings. 

It is also used for Football Betting

Men’s Indian Football Team Ranking

Indian football has seen many ups and downs in the FIFA football rankings. The Sunil Chhetri-led Indian men’s side is in the 106th position in the latest FIFA football rankings. In 1996, the Blue Tigers climbed as high as 94th. However, the team was ranked 173 in the world seven years ago.  

Women’s Indian Football Team Ranking

The women’s team, which participated in the AFC Asian Cup recently, is ranked 61st in the latest rankings. It climbed to an all-time high 49th position in 2013. Both men’s and women’s teams are yet to play in a World Cup. However, India hosted the men’s and women’s U17 World Cups in 2017 and 2022, respectively.

Football Player Ranking

Unlike cricket, FIFA doesn’t have an official ranking system for players. However, it chooses Best Player, Goalkeeper, Coach, and a World 11 in both men’s and women’s categories. Robert Lewandowski, playing in La Liga now, was voted the best player in 2021 for his scoring exploits in Germany.

UEFA Champions League winners Edouard Mendy and Thomas Tuchel clinched the awards for best goalkeeper and coach, respectively, last year. 

In the women’s category, Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas won the best player honor in 2021. Chile’s Christiane Endler was voted the best goalkeeper of the year, while Chelsea boss Emma Hayes grabbed the best coach award.

Ballon d’Or

Ballon d’Or is a prestigious annual football award presented to the best football player in the world. Lionel Messi won the best player of the year award seven times, while Cristiano Ronaldo has clinched five Ballon d’Ors.

In 2021, Real Madrid star Karim Benzema beat FC Bayern Munich’s Sadio Mane and Kevin De Bruyne, plying his trade in the Premier League, to win the prestigious award. France Football, a French football magazine, and FIFA joined hands and gave the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for the best footballer from 2010 to 2015.

Legendary footballers Pele and Diego Maradona were recipients of the honorary Ballon d’Or.

FAQs about Football Rankings

1. How many countries in FIFA ranking?

A total of 210 members are in the FIFA men’s ranking, while 187 members are in FIFA women’s ranking.

2. Do friendlies count towards FIFA rankings?

Yes, international friendlies do count toward FIFA rankings. However, teams earn more points when they play in major football tournaments.

3. What is the rank of Indian football team? 

The Indian football men’s team is currently ranked 106th in the world. The women’s team occupies the 61st position in the FIFA women’s rankings.

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