|Top 20 rankings as of 20 December 2018|
|Complete rankings at FIFA.com|
The FIFA World Ranking is a ranking system for men's national teams in association football, currently led by Germany. The teams of the member nations of FIFA, football's world governing body, are ranked based on their game results with the most successful teams being ranked highest. The rankings were introduced in December 1992, and eight teams (Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain) have held the top position, of which Brazil have spent longest ranked first.
A points system is used, with points being awarded based on the results of all FIFA-recognised full international matches. Under the existing system, rankings are based on a team's performance over the last four years, with more recent results and more significant matches being more heavily weighted to help reflect the current competitive state of a team. The ranking system was most recently revamped after the 2006 World Cup, with the first edition of the new series of rankings issued on 12 July 2006. The most significant change is that the rankings are now based on results over the previous four years instead of the previous eight years. The change is perceived to respond to criticisms that the FIFA World Rankings, based upon the previous calculation method in use from January 1999 to June 2006, did not effectively reflect the relative strengths of the national teams.
Alternative systems have been devised, such as the World Football Elo Ratings, based on the Elo rating system used in chess and Go, ranking teams on an all time basis. The Unofficial Football World Championships ranks teams on the number of times they have defended the Unofficial Football World Championship, an award devised solely for that purpose.
- FIFA World Ranking
- FIFA rankings: A Guide to the very first '93 revision
- How the FIFA men's rankings are calculated
- Interactive world map of the FIFA rankings