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 launched in December 1992, and eight teams, including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, have controlled the top spot, of which Brazil have spent longest ranked at # 1. When the system started, Germany d?buted as the number one team following their lengthy period of superiority in which they had reached the three previous FIFA World Cup finals, being victorious in one of them.
Brazil led in the run up to the 1994 FIFA World Cup after eight victories and one loss out of nine qualification matches, while scoring along the way twenty goals and yielding but 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 victory in their extended qualifying campaign brought them back to the lead for a quick period. Germany overtook again during the 1994 World Cup, until Brazil’s success in that competition gave them a huge lead that would hold up for almost seven years, until they were beaten by a formidable French team that snatched both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2000 European Football Championship.
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After success at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Brazil regained the top position, where they thrived until February 2007, when Italy reclaimed the top for the first time since 1993 after their 2006 FIFA World Cup victory in Germany. Only a month later, Argentina replaced them, achieving the top position for the first time, but Italy reclaimed its spot in April. Following their Copa Am?rica 2007 win in July, Brazil got back to the top, but was beaten 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. After its 2014 FIFA World Cup triumph, Germany took the lead back once again.
In July 2015, Argentina again soared to the top for the first time since 2008, after it reached the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, as well as the 2015 Copa America Final. In November 2015, Belgium led the FIFA rankings for the first time ever, after dominating their Euro 2016 qualifying group, until Argentina’s return to 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.