Germany have rocketed to the summit of FIFA's World Rankings after claiming their fourth World Cup title in Brazil.
Joachim Low's side moved up one place to top a list which has altered dramatically following the South American tournament, as reported by the governing body's official website.
Before we take a look at the top 25, it's important to note how FIFA weights its points system. The rankings are currently decided through this formula: Result x Importance of Match x Strength of Opposition x Confederation Strength = Total Points. You can check the intricacies right here.
Here's a look at the updated top 25:
|FIFA World Rankings: July 17, 2014|
|19.||Bosnia and Herzegovina||917||+2|
Germany's ascension has been a long time coming. The European nation sat comfortably behind Spain in second since 2012 and can be considered the most consistent elite side over the last few years. Amazingly, the current world champions haven't dropped outside the top five since 2009.
Oddly, the 7-1 semi-final win over Brazil grabbed 2,364 points, while the 1-0 final triumph against Argentina added 2,340 to the tally. Although the latter match was more important, it is still regarded in the same category by FIFA, making the spread of points appear disproportionate.
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone offered some thoughts as to why Germany came out on top, per football.sony.net:
But Germany were the most consistent team in the competition. Apart from the game against Algeria, they were the team that played the most consistently, the team with the most options in attack, with a group of players enjoying a positive moment and at the right age. Apart from players like Miroslav Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger, this is a very young German team.
Spain's downfall is confirmed by the rankings, which now rate the 2010 World Cup winners in eighth. Zero points were accumulated during losses to the Netherlands and Chile, the former of which enjoyed a giant 12-place leap after making it to the semi-final.
Louis van Gaal leaves the Oranje in third, their highest position since 2011. The Dutch began 2014 in ninth and will be overjoyed at accumulating a massive 2,400 points for their 5-1 victory over Spain. Colombia sit just four points behind in fourth, their biggest score of the period coming in at 2,316 points for the 2-0 win over Uruguay.
Brazil's aforementioned humiliation sees the Samba Boys plummet four places to seventh.
Losses to Germany and the Netherlands stopped the World Cup hosts from holding onto a higher position, meaning they are now officially the fourth-best team in South America behind Argentina (second), Colombia (fourth) and Uruguay (sixth). An emerging Belgium side also sit ahead in fifth, a mightily impressive result for Marc Wilmots' side.
France's rise to 10th is starting to feel more familiar. Les Bleus' highest position since 2009 coincides with Portugal's drop to 11th, their lowest rank since 2008. Chile's two-place rise is perhaps a harsh result for a side who played excellently in Brazil, but their standing in 12th is notable, as it's the country's highest ever position.
Despite competing avidly at the World Cup, the United States slip two places after losses to Germany and Belgium. This is a remarkable result considering Jurgen Klinsmann's team were also tasked with facing Ghana and Portugal, completing an extremely tough quartet of fixtures.
Less impressive is the major drop suffered by England. Roy Hodgson's side are now 20th overall, the Three Lions' lowest position since 1995. Draws against Ecuador, Honduras and Costa Rica—the former two were pre-World Cup friendlies—provided a smidgen of points during the period in an immensely disappointing showing from a squad crammed with club stars.
Costa Rica are now 16th, one higher than their previous best of 17th, which they secured in 2003. The success of Jorge Luis Pinto's team is also emphasised by Italy's five-place drop to 14th. To add further insult to injury for the struggling nations, Cameroon managed a three-place rise to 53rd after suffering three losses in Brazil.
All 208 registered FIFA nations will next be assessed on Aug. 14, although it's important to note many of the top nations don't have any fixtures during the period. We can expect a reshuffle further down the table at this point, as Europe prepares for the Euro 2016 qualification campaign to begin.
Germany's rightful position at the top appears incredibly solid right now, while there's plenty to battle for below the world champions. Brazil, Spain and England have the most to prove considering their World Cup fallout, as the shake-up has well and truly begun.
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