International Football

FIFA Power Rankings: Spain Still Leads the Top 20, Uruguay Is the New No. 2

BARI, ITALY - AUGUST 10:  Antonio Cassano of Italy and Sergio Busquets of Spain during the international friendly match between Italy and Spain at Stadio San Nicola on August 10, 2011 in Bari, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Luis HerreraAnalyst IAugust 12, 2011

After the always awkward August FIFA date, it’s a good night to rate the strength and recent form of the national squads in world football for the second time in the year.

The following ranking takes into account the strength of each team, their results since the World Cup and their position in the World Football Elo Ratings.

However, as with any power rating, there is a certain degree of subjectivity in this list, so we can discuss it in the comments section.

NOTE: My intention was to make this Power Rankings after every quarter, but due to an accident I suffered in late June I wasn’t able to write for Bleacher Report in July.

 

1. Spain

Previous ranking: No. 1

Last FIFA date: Italy 2-1 Spain (Friendly)

I said it in the previous ranking: As long as they are the European and World Champions, it will be difficult to move La Furia Roja from the top of any ranking, especially considering they have a perfect pace in the Euro 2012 qualifying round.

 

2. Uruguay

Previous ranking: No. 8

Last FIFA date: No activity

Let’s give La Garra Charrúa more credit. They were fourth in the World Cup 2010 and they just won the Copa América in Argentina, eliminating the hosts in the quarterfinals and crushing Paraguay in the final (and don’t forget Paraguay drew twice with Brazil).

 

3. Germany

Previous ranking: No. 3

Last FIFA date: Germany 3-2 Brazil (Friendly)

The last time I told you the margin between Die Mannschaft and the Oranje side was minimal. Well, a deserved victory against Brazil is reason enough to switch these teams.

 

4. Netherlands

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MARCH 29:  Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands in action during the Group E, EURO 2012 Qualifier between Netherlands and Hungary at the Amsterdam Arena on March 29, 2011 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Im
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Previous ranking: No. 2

Last FIFA date: No activity

The Oranje haven’t played since early June, when they drew in their visits to Brazil and Uruguay, so they lost a couple of spots. But they remain in the World’s elite.

 

5. Portugal

Previous ranking: No. 6

Last FIFA date: No activity

The Portuguese didn’t have to do much to climb one position in the rankings. They gained ground due to Brazil and Argentina’s embarrassing Copa América.

 

6. England

Previous ranking: No. 7

Last FIFA date: No activity

They are in the same case of Portugal. Others’ loss is their gain.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 10: The Mexican team celebrates a goal by Oribe Peralta #19 as Edgar Castillo #2 of the United States walks by at Lincoln Financial Field on August 10, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

 

7. Brazil

Previous ranking: No. 4

Last FIFA date: Germany 3-2 Brazil (Friendly)

Maybe they were better than Paraguay in that Copa América quarterfinals game, but when you draw three of four games and miss four penalty kicks you don’t really deserve much more.

 

8. Italy

Previous ranking: No. 12

Last FIFA date: Italy 2-1 Spain (Friendly)

I would have La Squadra Azzurra higher in this ranking if they hadn’t lost 0-2 against Ireland in June. However, it’s clear this team is on an ascending path.

 

9. Mexico

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 26:  Paul Aguilar of Mexico and Antolin Alcaraz and Marcelo Estigarribia of Paraguay go for the ball during their international friendly match at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on March 26, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Previous ranking: No. 13

Last FIFA date: United States 1-1 Mexico (Friendly)

It’s a shame El Tri couldn’t send their A squad to the Copa América. After trashing all the opposition in the Gold Cup, they would have had a great chance in the really disappointing South American tournament.

 

10. Japan

Previous ranking: No. 9

Last FIFA date: Japan 3-0 South Korea (Friendly)

The Asian Cup champions remain undefeated since the World Cup.

 

11. Chile

Previous ranking: No. 11

Last FIFA date: France 1-1 Chile (Friendly)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 26:  Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina reacts after a failed scoring attempt during the first half of a friendly match against the United States at New Meadowlands Stadium on March 26, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo b
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

After the eliminations of Brazil and Argentina, La Roja wasted a great chance to win the Copa América by losing against Venezuela in the quarterfinals; however, they played the best football of the tournament.

 

12. Ghana

Previous ranking: No. 10

Last FIFA date: No activity

The only African side in the top 20 started 2011 in a very good way, but they haven’t had much activity lately.

 

13. Paraguay

Previous ranking: No. 15

Last FIFA date: Club América 0-0 Paraguay (Salvador Cabañas’ Benefit match)

So, I have Uruguay at No. 2 after winning the Copa América…why do the runner-ups stay so low? Because they didn’t even win one single game in the tournament: their record was six draws (two victories in penalty kicks) and one defeat.

 

14. Australia

Previous ranking: No. 14

Last FIFA date: Wales 1-2 Australia (Friendly)

The Socceroos kept their good pace in their last games, getting a draw against Serbia and a victory at Wales.

 

15. France

Previous ranking: No. 17

Last FIFA date: France 1-1 Chile (Friendly)

Les Bleus are slowly recovering from their embarrassing performance in the past World Cup, but they are still far from the top teams.

 

16. Croatia

Previous ranking: No. 16

Last FIFA date: Ireland 0-0 Croatia (Friendly)

They are a good team, but not consistent enough to revive their best moments.

 

17. Sweden

Previous ranking: No. 19

Last FIFA date: Ukraine 0-1 Sweden

The Swedish squad has lost only once in its past 17 matches, and it was against Netherlands in Amsterdam. They won their three matches since the previous ranking, scoring 10 goals and conceding only one.

 

18. Argentina

Previous ranking: No. 5

Last FIFA date: No activity

Too low for a team that has Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and several other stars? Well, they couldn’t reach the semifinals in their own Copa América. They even drew 1-1 against Bolivia in the opener and their only victory was against Costa Rica U-22 team.

 

19. United States

Previous ranking: No. 18

Last FIFA date: United States 1-1 Mexico (Friendly)

Despite reaching the final in the Gold Cup, it was clear that Team USA had lost one or two steps. Let’s see if Jurgen Klinsmann can give a boost to this squad.

 

20. Peru

Previous ranking: NR

Last FIFA date: No activity

Los Incas were one of the surprises in the Copa América, ending in the third place.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @luisrha

Also read:

* FIFA Power Rankings - April 1st, 2011

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