Category: FIFA Rankings

Brazil top FIFA rankings for first time since 2010

Zurich (AFP) – Brazil surged to the top of the FIFA world rankings for the first time in seven years on Thursday, made all the sweeter as they usurped great rivals Argentina. It caps a terrific week for forward Neymar and Brazil — last week they became the first country to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, their latest step on the road to redemption after the embarrassment and heartache of their World Cup failure on home soil in 2014. Brazil were dumped off top spot after their elimination from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Their ... Read more

Argentina, France take FIFA ranking honours

Zurich (AFP) – Lionel Messi’s beaten Copa America finalists Argentina end the year top of FIFA’s world rankings while France, defeated in the Euro 2016 final, were named “mover of the year”. Argentina finish 2016 out in front of arch rivals Brazil to inherit the ‘team of the year’ title from Belgium, displaced from the FIFA summit by the Edgardo Bauza-coached Albiceleste in April. In all the Argentinians won 10 of their 15 games, with one of their three losses coming in the continental showpiece on penalties to Chile in June. France too lost their own continental showpiece in extra ... Read more

Belgium keeps top spot in final FIFA rankings of 2015

Photo credit: AFP. Photo credit: AFP. Belgium will go into 2016 atop FIFA’s national team rankings ahead of World Cup finalists Argentina, European champions Spain and World champions Germany after winning eight of their nine games this year. The nation of just 11.2 million is doted with a multi-talented national squad headed up by Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard and Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne. The 2014 World Cup quarterfinalists beat both Italy and France in friendlies in 2015, but their mouthwatering clash with Spain on Nov. 17 was called off. Argentina climbed back up to second after beating Colombia and ... Read more

Top 5 Highlights of American Soccer in 2009

Jozy Altidore Against Spain at Confederations Cup As promised last week, here are my highlights from 2009 in American Soccer, in no particular order: U.S. National Team Beats Spain in Confederations Cup Semi-Finals: On June 24, 2009, in the Semi-Finals of the Confederations Cup, the U.S. National Team, which barely advanced out of the group stage, managed a stunning 2-0 victory over Spain, the winners of Euro 2008. Going into this match, Spain was sitting in the top place in the FIFA rankings and was looking to keep alive its 35 match unbeaten streak. Spain ended up making the biggest ... Read more

World Cup Seeding Unlikely to Favor the US

UPDATE: SINCE THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN, IT HAS SURFACED THAT FIFA MAY CHANGE THE CRITERIA FOR SEEDING TO BE BASED SOLELY ON WORLD RANKINGS. IF SO, THE US IS LIKELY TO BE SEEDED IN THE 2010 WORLD CUP, IF SWITZERLAND AND/OR FRANCE DOES NOT QUALIFY.  IT IS POSSIBLE ONLY ONE OF THOSE TWO NATIONS NOT QUALIFYING COULD ALSO PUT THE US IN A POSITION TO BE SEEDED. OBVIOUSLY WITH TODAY’S HORRIBLE NEWS ABOUT CHARLIE DAVIES, THIS SPECULATION TAKES A BACK SEAT FOR NOW.  HERE IS MORE ON THE POTENTIAL CHANGES TO HOW SEEDING WILL WORK. ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– Since the brilliant US ... Read more

Want To Grow Soccer In The US: It Takes Honest Criticism Not A Pollyanna Approach

Labor Day has come and gone, the sun is setting earlier, and, even here in Houston, the air contains a slight fall crispness. Yes, the Summer of Soccer is over, and what an interesting summer it has been. Back on Father’s Day, like a Phoenix, the US National Team rose from the ashes of its first two group stage matches in the Confederations Cup to advance to the semifinals where it shocked the football world by easily beating Spain, which was ranked by FIFA as the top national team at the time. It was this victory over Spain that grabbed ... Read more

A Toast to the US Soccer Fan as We Await the Confederations Cup Final

As both a fan and observer of American Soccer in general and the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) in particular, Confederations Cup 2009 has been a rollercoaster with amazing emotional highs and lows. As we all know, the US started this tournament with back to back losses, first losing to Italy, 3-1, and then Brazil, 3-0. While many were calling for the head of New Jersey born Giuseppe Rossi, who scored two goals for Italy, a sizable number, including myself, were calling for the firing of the team’s coach, Bob Bradley. The amount and tone of criticism was not lost ... Read more

US Climbs to 16th in FIFA Rankings

The FIFA rankings seemed to favorable to the USA when the National Team was ranked 5th entering last year’s FIFA World Cup. The rankings seemed slightly biased against the USA when the nats were ranked 29th last month. But thanks to a strong start in the Gold Cup (which under FIFA’s new rankings formula hold additional weight) the US National Team is ranked 16th in the world, which is about where they belong. Italy retained its number one ranking, and France, Brazil, Germany and Argentina rounded out the top 5.