With the club season finally complete, international football is just heating up.
A week of friendlies has set the stage for a summer of World Cup qualifying matches, which kicks off Tuesday with a few glamorous ties.
Further, the Confederations Cup in Brazil is just around the corner, a tournament that will serve as an appetizer for next year's World Cup.
So what should fans expect heading into this important month of international action?
Using my recognized ranking system, every national team has been evaluated and placed in order.
As was the case in my previous rankings, the metric for rating the teams is based upon performances over a four-year period.
In each match, the teams were assigned a score based upon four key factors:
- The result of that particular match
- The importance of the match
- The quality of opposition in that match
- How recently that match was played
Using these scores and a few more factors that bear less mentioning (i.e. continental power, the team's talent, etc), a series of operations are performed to give the team a final score out of 1000.
The nations are then ranked by those scores, yielding the top 209 national teams.
Now, it should be noted that this ranking is not meant to be used as a strict predictor of matches (though it can be used quite effectively through the use of some tough statistical analysis).
Rather, form and talent are only a part of this list, as results at the highest level are valued greatly.
Where does your favorite team rank?
Without further ado, here is the latest installment of the Wagner World Rankings.