Do you know who FIFA has on their list of the top teams in the world?
Many don’t, and especially for those who don’t tune into the game regularly between World Cups it may be surprising not to find giants of the game such as France or Spain among the top five.
An even bigger surprise might be the inclusion of Switzerland, Poland and Chile among the top 10. With Switzerland at six, and Poland at eight, the outsiders carry real weight going into Russia 2018.
1) Germany 1558
2) Brazil 1431
3) Belgium 1298
4) Portugal 1274
5) Argentina 1241
6) Switzerland 1199
7) France 1198
8) Poland 1183
9) Chile 1135
10) Spain 1126
How does FIFA calculate these rankings?
The basic logic may seem simple but when you add in all the factors it gets a bit complicated.
The theory is that any team that performs well will win points that will allow them to climb the world ranking ladder.
Maximum points earned + importance of match + strength of opponent, all factor in.
Here is the point range for different types of matches in the importance category:
Friendly match (including small competitions): I = 1.0
FIFA World Cup™ qualifier or confederation-level qualifier: I = 2.5
Confederation-level final competition or FIFA Confederations Cup: I = 3.0
FIFA World Cup™ final competition: I = 4.0
Of course, the real test of the ranking system will be over the next month. You can follow how the teams perform on Euronews.