Top 12 Power Ranking of Countries Based on Football Talent
Clearly, it is always very hard to rank countries based on the talent they have available. Different people have different ideas on what makes a good player. But most of us have a fairly good idea on who the best countries are.
But I would add that the FIFA rankings can be misleading in some cases. Team's are not always as good as some people suggest. And we know that the best players do not always make the best team.
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Russia is currently 13th in the world rankings and has performed fairly well lately. It would certainly be a surprise if they didn't qualify for Brazil 2014. They should be guided fairly well under the experienced and respected Fabio Capello.
The squad is usually consists mostly of players from the Russian league. Arsenal's Andrei Arshavin and Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak will be familiar names to Premier League fans.
11. Ivory Coast
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We know how strong African football is getting thanks to the influx of its players to the Premier League. The Ivory Coast is currently ranked 16th and are probably the best in Africa.
Their squad consists of a whole heap of current and former Premier League players such as Arsenal's Gervinho, the now Chinese-based Didier Drogba and, of course, Yaya Toure.
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Croatia has a number of decent players and usually puts up a fairly good performance in tournament football. Perhaps their best and most well-known player is Real Madrid's Luka Modric, but Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic also impressed during Euro 2012.
Croatia is currently ranked ninth in the world.
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There is no doubt that England has some standout players.
But given their recent tournament football experience it is crazy to think they are ranked third in the world. There are a number of players in the squad that are coming towards the end of their careers, so it will be interesting to see what the future holds. Wayne Rooney is the current star of the side.
8. The Netherlands
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There always seems to be so much talent in the Netherlands' squad, but the team rarely delivers on on the big stage.
Star players include Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Manchester United's Robin van Persie. They are currently ranked eighth in the world.
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There is no doubt that there is a huge number of quality players coming out of Belgium these days, and a lot of them are now playing in the Premier League. Premier League stars Simon Mignolet, Thomas Vermaelen, Moussa Dembele, Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard and Marouane Fellaini is fine example of the talent they have to call on.
Despite all this they are currently ranked just 40th in the world. But this position will improve drastically if they can get their stars playing together.
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Italy are ranked sixth in the world, so this seems to be the best place to slot them.
We have always thought of Italy as a defensive team, but they proved during Euro 2012 that they now have a different way of playing. The squad is mainly made up of players based in Italy, and their main star is Andrea Pirlo.
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Portugal are currently ranked fourth in the world and they have a solid group pf players.
Their star is Real Madrid's Ronaldo. Nevertheless, they have other players like Manchester United's Nani that can cause problems all day.
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It's hard to know where to start with Argentina, because they have so much attacking talent. Manchester City's Tevez and Aguero are both world-class, but there is also Messi, who most people think of as the best player in the world.
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It's remarkable to think that Brazil are currently only 12th in the current world rankings, especially with their emergence of high quality midfielders.
Chelsea's Oscar, the Spurs' Sandro and the strikers Hulk and Neymar makes Brazil very dangerous at the 2014 World Cup on their home soil.
The lesson with Germany is to never write them off.
Tthey are ranked second in the world for good reason. They always produce in the big tournaments. There are plenty of big players within the Germany squad, including Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski, Mario Gomez and Mesut Ozil.
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I don't think anyone can dispute Spain's position on top of the pile.
Their record in World Cups and European Championships have been simply amazing. They were so good during Euro 2012 that they played most of the tournament without a central striker.
There real strength of the team comes in the midfield, but every player in the squad is technically brilliant, and Spain has proved to be the pass masters. Andres Iniesta is often the player that is singled out, but there is so much quality in that midfield area.