FIFA World Ranking: How It Is Calculated

FIFA World Ranking: How It Is Calculated

Have you ever wondered how FIFA calculates its World Rankings? Imagine a scenario where a team with a lower FIFA ranking defeats a team with a higher ranking in a crucial match. You might assume that the victorious team would move up in the rankings, right?

Well, it's not always that straightforward. The FIFA World Ranking calculation system is a complex web of factors and formulas that determine the rise and fall of national teams.

In this discussion, we will explore the intricacies of this system, uncover its flaws, and shed light on its impact on international football competitions.

Historical Evolution of FIFA Rankings

The historical evolution of FIFA rankings showcases the progression and changes in the calculation methods used to rank men's national teams in association football since its introduction in December 1992. An evolution analysis of the rankings reveals certain ranking trends over the years.

Initially, from 1992 to 1998, a ranking formula devised by Swiss lecturers was used, which involved points awarded for wins, draws, and losses, with adjustments for relative team strength and factors for goals scored or conceded. In 1999, the calculation method was revised, scaling up point rankings by a factor of ten and considering goals scored/conceded, home/away matches, and only senior men's national team matches.

Another significant change occurred in 2006, reducing the evaluation period from 8 to 4 years and adopting a simpler calculation method. These ranking trends demonstrate the continuous efforts to refine and improve the FIFA rankings over time.

Ranking Methodologies and Updates

To understand the current ranking methodologies and updates of the FIFA World Ranking, it's important to examine the changes that have been implemented since its introduction in December 1992.

Over the years, FIFA has made adjustments to the calculation method to improve accuracy and reflect the significance of games and their outcomes. These updates have been based on extensive data analysis and ranking trends.

The ranking system has evolved from a point-scoring system to a more sophisticated formula that takes into account factors such as match importance, strength of the opposing team, and strength of the confederation. The introduction of the Elo rating system in 2018 further enhanced the accuracy of the rankings.

These updates ensure that the FIFA World Ranking remains a reliable and comprehensive measure of national team performance.

Top Teams and Rankings

Continuing the discussion on FIFA World Rankings, let's now turn our attention to the current subtopic of 'Top Teams and Rankings.'

The current top 20 rankings (as of 21 December 2023) include Argentina leading with 1855.2 points, followed by France, England, Belgium, and Brazil in the top 5. These rankings have a significant impact on tournaments, as they determine seeding and can affect the path teams take in competitions like the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

However, the FIFA rankings haven't been without controversies. The system has faced criticism over the years, with some arguing that it doesn't accurately reflect team quality. Despite these controversies, the rankings remain crucial in the world of football and continue to shape the landscape of international competitions. You can find additional information about football standings on platforms such as Tempotips, that process large amount of football data every day.

Uses and Impact of FIFA Rankings

What're the uses and impact of FIFA rankings in international football?

The FIFA rankings serve multiple purposes and have a significant impact on the world of football. Firstly, they're used to assess team performance and track the progression of national teams over time.

The rankings also play a crucial role in tournament seeding, determining which teams are placed in which pots for competitions like the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. By assigning teams to different pots based on their rankings, the tournament draws can be more balanced and fair.

This ensures that stronger teams aren't pitted against each other in the early stages of the tournament. Overall, the FIFA rankings have a direct impact on the structure and organization of international football competitions.

Recognition and Awards Related to FIFA Rankings

Recognition and awards related to FIFA rankings highlight the achievements and performance of national teams in international football. FIFA awards two honors annually based on rankings: Team of the Year and Best Mover of the Year.

The Best Mover award's methodology changed in 2007, with results based on the difference in FIFA world ranking points year over year. Various nations have been recognized for their performance in the rankings, with awards given to teams like Belgium, Qatar, Hungary, and Canada in different years.

These awards serve to acknowledge the efforts and success of national teams in their pursuit of excellence in international football. They also contribute to the overall recognition and prestige associated with the FIFA rankings.

FIFA World Ranking Calculation System

The FIFA World Ranking calculation system is a method used by FIFA to rank national teams based on their performance in international football matches. The accuracy of the ranking system has been a topic of discussion, with critics arguing that it doesn't always reflect the true quality of teams.

To address this concern, FIFA has made several improvements to the calculation system over the years. In 2018, the system was updated to continuously add or subtract points based on game outcomes, taking into account the caliber of the opponents and the circumstances of the matches.

However, there's still room for future improvements to make the ranking system even more accurate and representative of the teams' abilities. FIFA continues to analyze and evaluate the system to ensure its fairness and reliability.


In conclusion, the FIFA World Ranking calculation system is a complex formula that takes into account various factors to determine the rankings of national teams.

While it plays a significant role in seeding competitions and determining draw seedings for tournaments, it has faced criticism for not accurately reflecting team quality.

Despite its flaws, the rankings continue to have a significant impact on international football competitions and are closely followed by fans and stakeholders in the sport.