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If you are new to these rankings and this system, it is based on a procedure that is purely mathematical.
To begin with, every match from the last four years is assigned a value based on its importance. For example, the World Cup Final is given more value than a random friendly.
The four-year window seems to be the perfect amount of time—a shorter period gives too small a sample size and a larger one would likely represent a different side.
After every match is given a value and compiled, each team is assigned a value for every match based on four factors:
- The result of the match
- Whether the match was home, away or at a neutral venue
- How strong the opposition was
- How recently the match was played
Finally, factoring in any matches a team missed out on (i.e. World Cup final matches they didn't qualify for) and giving every continental tournament a new weight produces a score out of 1,000 points.
Every team is then ranked based on these points.
One should note that this does not produce a ranking based on form alone.
As a result, many teams may seem higher or lower in the rankings than one might expect because of drastic changes in form over relatively-short periods of time.
For example, performing well over a year may push a team up the table quickly, but relatively-awful performances over the three years prior could hold the team back for a little while.
Hence, it allows a ranking that factors in both form and consistency, a quality that is highly undervalued.
So, without further ado, here are the latest rankings.