The world of international football has undergone quite a few changes over the past few weeks.
Scores of World Cup qualifiers were played, resulting in many teams falling out of contention for the world's biggest tournament.
Meanwhile, continental champions have begun the Confederations Cup in Brazil, providing an appetizer for next summer's festivities.
With all of these changes, it seems logical to provide an update on the just how well these national teams are performing.
Again, these rankings are based on more than just form.
In an attempt to quantify the abilities of each national team, every team has been assessed on every match over the past four years based on four factors:
- The result of that particular match
- The importance of that match
- The strength of its opposition in that match
- Just how recently the match was contested
Tallying together those scores and weighting in a few other factors, each team is assigned a score out of 1000 and ranked accordingly.
Now, since the last rankings, a few big changes have occurred in these rankings that are worth mentioning.
The biggest change is how the formula has changed in Africa.
While the numbers had previously worked, the inclusion of an Africa Cup of Nations on an off-year, which has created a situation where there has been three such tournaments over the past four years, threw the numbers into disarray.
Hence, the last rankings were unfair on many African nations.
A few key tweaks have produced a few good results with that continent, though, which many people should be happy to see.
The other big change is the change of the evaluation of Brazil's score.
While it seems incredibly unfair for the Brazilians to be penalized for hosting next year's World Cup (as has been the case in the FIFA rankings), these rankings had been unintentionally rewarding them for not needing to go through qualification.
A new factor for hosts seems like a fair component that has fixed this.
So with that in mind, enjoy the newest Wagner World Rankings.