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Power Ranking All 209 World Football National Teams

Frank WagnerCorrespondent IJune 21, 2013

Power Ranking All 209 World Football National Teams

1 of 19

    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.

    As has been the case with each of the past rankings produced here, these rankings are based on the mathematics of a formula created by this writer.

    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.

209-181

2 of 19
      Nation   Points out of 1000
    209 Turks and Caicos   0.4
    208 Bhutan   1.7
    207 South Sudan  South Sudan 6.5
    206 San Marino   7.3
    205 Djibouti   8.2
    204 Montserrat   8.5
    203 Sao Tome e Principe   10.2
    202 Anguilla   13.8
    201 Somalia   15.8
    200 Eritrea   16.2
    199 Mauritania  Mauritania 17.4
    198 British Virgin Islands   19.3
    197 Seychelles   23.1
    196 Brunei Darussalam  Brunei 24.3
    195 Mauritius   26.2
    194 Macau   27.1
    193 Cook Islands   27.9
    192 Comoros   30.7
    191 Cayman Islands   34.9
    190 Madagascar   36.0
    189 Tonga   38.7
    188 Dominica   39.8
    187 American Samoa   40.7
    186 Timor-Leste  East Timor 40.7
    185 Guinea-Bissau   41.1
    184 Swaziland   41.2
    183 Papua New Guinea   44.4
    182 Mongolia   45.2
    181 Chad   45.7

     

    Analysis

    This bottom set of teams is filled with nations who either struggle at the lowest levels of qualification or don't even enter qualification.

    One team in this group that could quickly rise is South Sudan, which was just recently recognized as a country and thus hasn't played many matches.

180-151

3 of 19
      Nation   Points out of 1000
    180 Barbados   49.4
    179 Guam   52.3
    178 Samoa   52.7
    177 Aruba   52.8
    176 Saint Lucia   53.5
    175 U.S. Virgin Islands   56.0
    174 Bahamas   56.8
    173 Gambia   56.9
    172 Cambodia   62.8
    171 Kyrgyzstan   63.2
    170 Lesotho   63.9
    169 Central African Rep.   65.1
    168 Sri Lanka   69.2
    167 Bermuda   72.5
    166 Curacao   77.2
    165 Vanuatu   77.6
    164 Burundi   79.0
    163 Fiji   79.0
    162 Pakistan   79.1
    161 Nicaragua   83.7
    160 Suriname   85.5
    159 Laos   85.5
    158 Afghanistan   85.6
    157 Liberia   89.0
    156 Sierra Leone   89.9
    155 Grenada   93.1
    154 Saint Kitts and Nevis   95.6
    153 Benin   95.6
    152 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines   96.0
    151 Chinese Taipei   96.1

     

    Analysis

    This next group of 30 nations has more teams that struggle in qualifying stages, but some of these teams actually achieve some levels of success.

    Among these teams, the most interesting is the Central African Republic, whose victories over Egypt eliminated them from qualification for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

    However, CAR has been unable to reproduce that form and are already eliminated from contention for next summer's World Cup.

150-121

4 of 19
      Nation   Points out of 1000
    150 Cuba   97.8
    149 Puerto Rico   101.1
    148 Namibia   102.3
    147 Nepal   109.8
    146 Zimbabwe   110.0
    145 Turkmenistan   110.2
    144 Equatorial Guinea   111.1
    143 Hong Kong   111.2
    142 Rwanda   111.3
    141 Bangladesh   114.3
    140 Myanmar   114.5
    139 Maldives   114.5
    138 Yemen   115.5
    137 Niger   116.4
    136 Belize   117.0
    135 Dominican Republic   121.0
    134 Mozambique   125.1
    133 Andorra   127.2
    132 Haiti   130.7
    131 Congo   131.8
    130 Solomon Islands   133.9
    129 Guyana   136.1
    128 Tajikistan   137.3
    127 India   138.8
    126 Kenya   140.1
    125 Faroe Islands   140.9
    124 Guinea   145.5
    123 Indonesia   148.1
    122 Palestine   148.5
    121 Botswana   150.9

     

    Analysis

    At 131, Congo is a very interesting team that could be getting ready for a massive move up the rankings.

    The Congolese are poised to win their 2014 World Cup qualifying group over Burkina Faso and Gabon, sending them to the playoffs.

    Their group victory would be a bit strange, as it is mostly due to clerical errors by their two closest rivals that caused them to have draws overturned to 3-0 losses.

    However, Congo is very close to a shocking World Cup berth.

    Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands come in at 130 after it struggled as hosts at the 2012 Oceania Football Confederation Nations Cup.

120-91

5 of 19
      Nation   Points out of 1000
    120 Antigua and Barbuda   151.8
    119 Trinidad and Tobago   152.0
    118 Vietnam   153.1
    117 Cape Verde Islands   155.1
    116 Malaysia   156.1
    115 Sudan   156.3
    114 DR Congo   168.8
    113 Togo   170.1
    112 Singapore   172.8
    111 Philippines   179.0
    110 Tanzania   181.0
    109 Angola   186.9
    108 Syria   189.3
    107 Tahiti   197.0
    106 Thailand   199.9
    105 Lebanon   200.7
    104 Malawi   204.2
    103 El Salvador   205.7
    102 Liechtenstein   208.1
    101 Senegal   208.5
    100 Libya   209.9
    99 Luxembourg   216.4
    98 Guatemala   217.8
    97 Gabon   218.3
    96 Malta   219.3
    95 Cameroon   223.8
    94 Uganda   225.3
    93 Canada   228.9
    92 Kazakhstan   229.5
    91 Ethiopia   229.8

     

    Analysis

    Many teams in this group are at pivotal points and could be heading up or down these rankings soon.

    Tahiti rode its OFC Nations Cup championship to 107, but its dismal performances at the Confederations Cup could see them drop quickly.

    Meanwhile, Senegal, Libya and Cameroon could quickly rise if they can clinch their respective groups.

    The most interesting team, though, is Ethiopia at 91.

    The Ethiopians clinched their group in World Cup qualifying, defeating South Africa.

    However, FIFA is probing one of the nation's matches to see if they fielded an ineligible player, which would mean that the group is back up for grabs.

90-61

6 of 19
      Nation   Points out of 1000
    90 South Africa   230.5
    89 Korea DPR   238.9
    88 Saudi Arabia   239.9
    87 UAE   240.4
    86 Cyprus   242.4
    85 Bahrain   244.5
    84 Scotland   253.8
    83 China   256.3
    82 Kuwait   256.3
    81 Egypt   264.5
    80 Oman   264.5
    79 Qatar   265.0
    78 Northern Ireland   268.8
    77 Mali   277.2
    76 New Caledonia   277.6
    75 Moldova   278.4
    74 Lithuania   279.2
    73 Algeria   283.4
    72 Latvia   290.6
    71 Azerbaijan   292.9
    70 Iraq   293.9
    69 Morocco   297.1
    68 Iceland   297.5
    67 Jamaica   298.4
    66 Wales   299.1
    65 Macedonia   303.3
    64 Tunisia   305.4
    63 Georgia   311.9
    62 Bolivia   314.1
    61 Estonia    324.1

     

    Analysis

    Many sides sit poised to move up these rankings in this group.

    Iceland and Wales have performed very well in World Cup qualifying, so the nations are hoping that they will be able to ride that to success in the future.

    Meanwhile, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria have had fine group campaigns, leaving them very close to booking a spot in next summer's World Cup.

    On the other side, Mali, Iraq and Jamaica have disappointed in their World Cup runs and are on the way down.

60-31

7 of 19
      Nation   Points out of 1000
    60 Albania   336.6
    59 Belarus   340.9
    58 Armenia   341.7
    57 Honduras   343.4
    56 Bulgaria   343.5
    55 Zambia   345.8
    54 New Zealand   347.7
    53 Costa Rica  Costa Rica 348.4
    52 Panama   359.7
    51 Finland   361.9
    50 Slovakia   374.0
    49 Montenegro   375.9
    48 Austria   375.9
    47 Israel   376.1
    46 Burkina Faso   377.9
    45 Serbia   382.0
    44 Turkey   382.8
    43 Jordan   384.4
    42 Slovenia   385.0
    41 Poland   386.4
    40 Hungary   388.7
    39 Venezuela   391.3
    38 Norway   396.9
    37 Romania   398.7
    36 Ukraine   400.4
    35 Peru   400.7
    34 Paraguay   406.8
    33 Uzbekistan   407.6
    32 USA   426.4
    31 Denmark   430.3

     

    Analysis

    Much of this group is comprised of European sides hoping for a playoff spot, with Albania, Armenia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Norway, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine and Denmark all fitting that bill.

    Uzbekistan (33) and Jordan (43) will do battle in Asia's World Cup qualifying playoff, with the winner hoping to win the intercontinental playoff for a spot in Brazil.

    South American teams like Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela are near the bottom of the World Cup qualifying table.

    Peru and Venezuela still have hope of turning their campaigns around, but Paraguay sits in 34th due to its strong performances in years past.

    Near the top of the group is the USA, which has been been performing quite well in CONCACAF's qualifying.

    The Americans will surely find themselves going to Brazil next year but will hope to get some more competitive friendly fixtures in before that.

30-21

8 of 19
      Nation   Points out of 1000
    30 Nigeria   434.9
    29 Ecuador   436.2
    28 Iran   437.5
    27 Czech Rep   440.0
    26 Chile   442.5
    25 Switzerland   442.5
    24 Japan   443.7
    23 Belgium   443.8
    22 Rep. Ireland   451.1
    21 Bosnia and Herzegovina   451.8

     

    Analysis

    Reigning African champions Nigeria sit in 30th, just third among its continent due to its  inability to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

    Though Ecuador has been impressive in CONMEBOL's World Cup qualifying thus far, it still has some work left to do. In fact, the Ecuadorians must prove themselves away from home if they hope to solidify their place in Brazil.

    Iran and Japan both booked places in Brazil, while Switzerland, Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina look well on their way to doing the same.

20-11

9 of 19
      Nation   Points out of 1000
    20 Greece   453.0
    19 Australia   454.1
    18 Ghana   455.8
    17 South Korea   455.9
    16 Ivory Coast   458.2
    15 France   458.7
    14 Mexico   462.5
    13 Colombia   464.5
    12 Sweden   477.4
    11 Russia   483.3

     

    Analysis

    Colombia continues its rise through these rankings, moving up to 13th as its hot form continues.

    Russia's loss to Portugal was a setback and moved them out of the top 10, but it should still comfortably find its way to next summer's tournament.

    Mexico is in a bit of a downward spiral, getting quickly eliminated from the Confederations Cup and making work out of its qualification to the World Cup through the hex.

    The two most consistent African nations, Ghana and Ivory Coast, sit at 18 and 16, respectively.

    Australia and South Korea have already wrapped up berths in next summer's tournament in Brazil and are in the top 20 because of that.

10. Croatia

10 of 19

    Points out of 1000: 486.3

     

    Analysis

    Croatia has suffered a few setbacks over the past month, taking away its solid grasp on ninth and pushing them to the cusp of the top 10.

    The Croats lost to Scotland in a World Cup qualifier—allowing Belgium to take a dominant lead in the group—then followed it up with a loss to Portugal in a friendly.

    Croatia must right the ship soon if it hopes to win its group and avoid a playoff process that has troubled them in the past.

9. Uruguay

11 of 19

    Points out of 1000: 496.9

     

    Analysis

    Uruguay might finally be righting the ship.

    The reigning World Cup semifinalists and Copa America champions picked up a crucial victory at Venezuela in World Cup qualifying, pushing them into a playoff spot and within sight of the automatic qualifying places.

    The Uruguayans look set to make it through their Confederations Cup group after defeating Nigeria, so they will hope that a strong showing will give them the momentum to up their form through the next few crucial months of qualifying.

8. England

12 of 19

    Points out of 1000: 513.2

     

    Analysis

    England may not have played a qualifying match this month, but it was still able to gain ground on its rivals.

    Ukraine's 4-0 victory at Montenegro means that England remains in second place and two points behind the Montenegrins—but now with a match in hand.

    Further, Poland's 1-1 draw at Moldova put a big damper on its hopes.

    Adding in a draw with Brazil in a friendly at the Maracana, and one can see that England had a pretty decent month.

7. Brazil

13 of 19

    Points out of 1000: 522.3

     

    Analysis

    The new factors on Brazil may make it seem like Brazil is moving down these rankings, but this is not the case.

    Other than a draw with England, the Brazilians have played well, destroying France in a friendly and dominating at the Confederations Cup thus far.

    If they continue to push their way through the Confed Cup, Brazil could easily move up a spot before next month.

6. Portugal

14 of 19

    Points out of 1000: 529.8

     

    Analysis

    By the evidence of this month, Portugal may finally be coming around.

    In matches with Russia and Croatia, the Portuguese kept two clean sheets and won both.

    It looks like Portugal is gearing up for another playoff run into a major tournament.

    Given that their only losses at major tournaments over the past four years have come to Spain, the Portuguese should be a team to fear.

5. Argentina

15 of 19

    Points out of 1000: 530.1

     

    Analysis

    Argentina's domination of the South American World Cup qualifying group is nearly complete, as it is just one win shy of booking its place in next year's tournament.

    Further, with Lionel Messi scoring a hat trick against Guatemala, the outlook is bright for the Argentinians.

4. Italy

16 of 19

    Points out of 1000: 554.1

     

    Analysis

    The Euro 2012 finalists have had a strange month.

    A draw with the Czech Republic in World Cup qualifying was quickly followed by a strange draw in a friendly with Haiti, results that made one wonder if there might be something wrong.

    However, the Azzurri have done well since then, scoring victories in each of their first two Confederations Cup group matches and advancing to the semifinals.

    It's hard to know what to expect from this Italian team.

3. Netherlands

17 of 19

    Points out of 1000: 561.0

     

    Analysis

    The 2010 World Cup runner-up Netherlands has continued its dominance in qualification campaigns, winning every group match thus far.

    The Dutch haven't been defeated in just about a year and will be hoping to keep that streak alive heading into next year's tournament in Brazil.

    After all, they had a two-year unbeaten run heading into the 2010 World Cup that served them quite well.

2. Germany

18 of 19

    Points out of 1000: 594.5

     

    Analysis

    With the Bundesliga's clubs dominating European football this season, the Germans will hope that the success will translate to their national team.

    Germany's 4-3 loss to the USA certainly wasn't good, but the result should be mitigated by the fact that it was playing very few (if any) of its first-choice starters.

    Still, it is a little worrying that these backups put in such a performance, as any injury could thus cause a problem.

1. Spain

19 of 19

    Points out of 1000: 662.4

     

    Analysis

    Spain is far and away the top national team in the world and will stay atop this perch for quite some time.

    The reigning World Cup and European champions just keep putting in great performances and adding to their incredible resume.

    There's not much more for them to do except win this month's Confederations Cup.

     

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