There is a ranking system for men’s national teams in Association Football called the FIFA Men’s World ranking. In this System, the teams of men’s football are ranked by FIFA based on their performance and game results. The most successful team is placed on the top while the rank also decreases with the points gained by a team. It was in 1992 when rankings were first introduced and the rankings included Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands. Out of these, Brazil has remained for the longest time in first place.
Criteria for rankings
Every selection process is held on the basis of a criteria. So is this. In order to allot rankings, a point system is used in which points are awarded to each point on the basis of their results and performance in FIFA recognised international matches. The ranking system has also been criticised many times by different nations saying that this evaluation method doesn’t effectively reflect the relative strengths of the National Teams.
Brazil has been ranked first for most time using this criteria. While other nations like Argentina, France, Belgium, England, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Spain, etc have also ranked among the top best men’s Football teams.
World’s Best Football Team
Currently, the title for World’s Best Football Team goes to Brazil which has returned to its all time spot, top of the list with highest points. Every year, new rankings are released on the basis of the team’s annual performance and Brazil has remained on the top for the longest period of time. Seeing its consistent superior behaviour, one thing has become clear that Brazil is the World’s Best Football Team as of now.
Looking at its history of the rankings, it became the second team to occupy first place in the list after Germany in 1993 since then, it has been ranked on top for more than fifteen times which is the longest.
Who are the ranking leaders?
We already discussed Brazil being the best and longest standing top ranked nation in the world. But it’s not the only leading nation in men’s rankings. Let’s begin with the beginning when the system was first introduced and then we’ll take a tour of all the teams that have been on the top in the past.
Germany debuted as the top ranked team i. FIFA World rankings as a result of their period of dominance where they reached World Cup finals thrice winning one of them. Germany’s triumph was followed by Brazil next year as Brazil replaced Germany on top on the list. Brazil kept leading the run up to the 1984 FIFA World Cup once it won eight and lost one of the nine Qualification matches. Soon, Italy took the lead for some time after their successful World Cup qualifying campaign and Germany returned to its old place.
Again, Brazil reclaimed the top place replacing Germany once more. Then, Germany regained its place during the 1984 World Cup until Brazil showed up in the picture on the back of their successful triumph in the largest tournament.
Brazil stayed at the top for seven consecutive years until the French team beat them clinching the 1998 FIFA World Cup as well as the 2000 European football Championship.
Then once again, Brazil returned to the picture with more strength and resistance after successfully lifting the 2002 FIFA World Cup trophy. Brazil remained in the lead till February 2007 when Italy for the second time returned to the top since their 1993 win.
One month later, Argentina replaced Italy and came to the top for the first time, though Italy regained its place shortly after. Following their 2007 Copa America triumph, Brazil reclaimed top place but was replaced by Italy and then Argentina in October.
The cycle went on involving some new players like Spain in the meanwhile before Brazil returned to the top again in April 2010. Recently, Brazil was on the top during the 2017-18 period. The switching of top rank winners kept happening and Spain and Belgium became the other two teams to stand longest on the top after Brazil.
At the end, the most recent FIFA Men’s World Ranking was released in December 2022 where Brazil was announced the top ranked nation. Once again, Brazil reclaimed its all time position and proved that it’s the world’s best team of all time.
Now that we talked about the rankings, World’s best team and the criteria to select one, it’s necessary to revise why the Rankings are important. Rankings are basically used by FIFA to determine or rank the ability or potential of national football teams. In fact, they are also used sometimes to calculate for competitions. For instance, in 2010 FIFA World Cup, rankings were used to seed the groups for Qualification matches.
Just like this, these rankings are sometimes used to determine the results of a draw match in competitions. Hence, FIFA rankings play a major role in determining the ability and progression of a team.