FIFA World Rankings: Latest Standings Among Football's Elite Nations

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2014

July 13, 2014; Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL; Germany defender Jerome Boateng (20), midfielder Thomas Muller (13), and defender Per Mertesacker (17) celebrate after winning the championship match of the 2014 World Cup against the Argentina at Maracana Stadium.  Germany won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports
Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Germany have maintained their lead atop the FIFA World Rankings during the Aug. 14 update, as little post-World Cup activity ensures a familiar-looking top 25.

A handful of teams have swapped positions during the intermission, notably a small rise for Spain, but most of the dramatic changes come further down the rankings table. Here's a look at the elite, followed by some of the more eye-catching switches hidden throughout the pecking order:

FIFA World Rankings: August 14, 2014
RankNationPointsPosition Change
15.Costa Rica1023+1
18.United States of America937-3
19.Bosnia and Herzegovina925-
25.Cote d'Ivoire840-

Points are currently calculated through the following formula: Result x Importance of Match x Strength of Opposition x Confederation Strength = Total Points. FIFA has introduced new weighting for each confederation in the aftermath of the World Cup. This now stands at the following: CONMEBOL 1.00; UEFA 0.99; AFC, CAF, OFC and CONCACAF 0.85, per the governing body's official website.

Be sure to check out the details of this points system right here.

July 13, 2014; Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL; Germany midfielder Mario Gotze (19) celebrates with the world cup trophy after the championship match of the 2014 World Cup against the Argentina at Maracana Stadium. Germany won 1-0.  Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis
Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Although the top 25 remain largely unaffected after a period of inactivity, FIFA's weighting also only takes into account the last four years' worth of results, known as "one World Cup cycle," per the official fact sheet. This underlines a slight tweak in positioning for the likes of Spain, Costa Rica, USA and Croatia.

Germany continue to storm the charts after their World Cup victory. A monstrous 2,364 points were accumulated during the 7-1 win over Brazil, while the final triumph against Argentina also threw in another 2,340. Such results place the Europeans a massive 132 points ahead of the team they overcame in the recent final.

The current leaders remained ecstatic by their position, as posted on the German national team's Twitter account:

German forward Lukas Podolski also reminded the world how it feels to sit on top:

Spain move up one place into equal seventh after the four-year progression. Vicente del Bosque's men—who failed to get out of the group stage during the World Cup, let alone defend their title—are now tied alongside Brazil.

The Samba Boys enjoyed a smart opening to the tournament in front of their home crowd, but the aforementioned thumping against Germany and 3-0 loss to the Netherlands sees their rank struggle.

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 05:  Stefan De Vrij (L)  of the Netherlands tackles Marcos Urena of Costa Rica as Ron Vlaar closes in during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Quarter Final match between the Netherlands and Costa Rica at Arena Fonte Nova on July 5, 2
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Other than this, Costa Rica are now in their all-time highest position of 15th after reaching the quarter-finals in Brazil, above England, per The United States drop five points below rivals Mexico, with El Tri benefiting from the cycle.

Away from the elite, Ukraine are the highest of the non-World Cup nations, while most the biggest movers come from Africa.

Let's take a look at a few changes you may have missed:

FIFA World Rankings: Biggest Movers, Aug. 14, 2014.
RankNationPointsPosition Change
50.Sierre Leone533+14

While these teams will be celebrating massive moves up the table, spare a thought for Panama, who have dropped 30 places down to 63rd. 

The FIFA World Rankings are next due to be calculated on Sept. 18. A major shakeup is expected, as all European teams head into battle ahead of qualification for the European Championships in 2016.

Nations including Italy and England, both of which sit lower than they should, will need to post improved performances if they are to advance up the ladder. Germany's lead appears unassailable right now, but as ever, a handful of poor results will switch the rankings up completely.