FIFA World Rankings and Leading Teams
The FIFA World Ranking is a ranking method for men’s national teams in association football, presently dominated by Germany. The teams of the member nations of FIFA, football’s worldwide governing body, are ranked according to their game results with the most flourishing teams being ranked highest.
The system was established in December 1992, and eight teams – Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain – have captured the highest position, of which Brazil have spent longest ranked number one. When the system started, Germany d?buted as the # 1 team following their long period of supremacy in which they had reached the three prior FIFA World Cup finals, ruling one of them.
Brazil became the leader en route to the 1994 FIFA World Cup after eight wins and one loss out of nine qualifying matches, on the way scoring twenty goals and conceding a mere four. Italy then took over for a brief time on the back of their own equally victorious World Cup qualifying campaign, after which Germany reclaimed the top spot.
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Brazil’s triumph in their drawn out qualifying campaign put them back on the lead for a brief moment. Germany again dominated during the 1994 World Cup, until Brazil’s triumph in that competition offered them a considerable lead that would carry on for almost seven years, until they were overcome by an astounding French team that won the 1998 FIFA World Cup as well as the 2000 European Football Championship.
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Brazil’s success at the 2002 FIFA World Cup put it back to the top position, where they stayed until February 2007, when Italy came back to the top for the first time since 1993 after their 2006 FIFA World Cup triumph in Germany. Merely a month later, Argentina replaced them, attaining the top spot for the first time, but Italy recouped its position in April. Following their win at the Copa Am?rica 2007 in July, Brazil regained control of the top spot, but was overpowered by Italy in September and Argentina in October.
In July 2008, Spain lead the games for the first time, having clinched UEFA Euro 2008. Brazil went for a sixth stint at the top in July 2009 after its 2009 Confederations Cup victory, and Spain recouped the title in November 2009 after winning all of its qualification matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Brazil saw the top again in April 2010. After its World Cup victory in 2010, Spain reclaimed the top position and maintained it until August 2011, when The Netherlands became number one for the first time, only to bow out a month after. Germany snatched the lead back in July 2014 after its 2014 FIFA World Cup conquest.
In July 2015, Argentina attained the top spot for the first time since 2008, after reaching both the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, and the 2015 Copa America Final. Belgium led the FIFA rankings for the first time in November 2015, after overpowering their Euro 2016 qualifying group until Argentina regained the top in April 2016. 1 for the first time since just before to the 2010 World Cup, but Germany snatched the top spot in July after its Confederations Cup victory.