# Power Ranking All 209 World Football National Teams

Frank Wagner@Fw1812Correspondent IJune 21, 2013

# Power Ranking All 209 World Football National Teams

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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

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 Nation Points out of 1000 209 Turks and Caicos 0.4 208 Bhutan 1.7 207 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 17.4 198 British Virgin Islands 19.3 197 Seychelles 23.1 196 Brunei Darussalam 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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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 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 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

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 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

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 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

14 of 18

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.