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The World Football Elo Ratings is a ranking system for men's national association football teams that is published by the website eloratings.net. It is based on the Elo rating system but includes modifications to take various football-specific variables into account, like the margin of victory, importance of a match, and home field advantage. Other implementations of the Elo rating system are possible and there is no single nor any official Elo ranking for football teams.

Since being developed, the Elo rankings have been found to have the highest predictive capability for football matches.[1] FIFA's official rankings, both the FIFA World Rankings for men and the FIFA Women's World Rankings are based on a modified version of the Elo formula, the men's rankings having switched away from FIFA's own system for matches played since June 2018.[2]

Contents

Top 100Edit

The following table shows the top 100 teams in the World Football Elo Ratings as they were on 17 June 2019, using data from the World Football Elo Ratings web site.[3]

Each national team's FIFA World Ranking is shown as per the latest release on 14 June 2019.[4]

AFC CAF CONCACAF CONIFA CONMEBOL OFC UEFA
  1. ^ Guatemala is ranked much lower in the FIFA Ranking because they were inactive from September 2016 to August 2018 due to their suspension from FIFA. While this caused their FIFA Ranking to fall dramatically under the former system, their Elo rating remained the same.
  2. ^ Northern Cyprus is not a member of FIFA and is not included in the FIFA Rankings. Also, the team has played only 17 matches against other Elo-ranked teams, so its Elo rating is provisional.
  3. ^ Kuwait is ranked lower in the FIFA Ranking because they were inactive from October 2015 to December 2017 due to their suspension from FIFA. While this caused their FIFA Ranking to fall dramatically under the former system, their Elo rating remained the same.
  4. ^ Martinique are also not members of FIFA, so are not included in the FIFA Rankings.
  5. ^ Iraqi Kurdistan is not a member of FIFA and is not included in the FIFA Rankings. Also, the team has played only 4 matches against other Elo-ranked teams, so its Elo rating is provisional.

List of number-one teamsEdit

The following is the list of nations who have achieved the number-one position in the World Football Elo Ratings since the first international match in 1872:[5]

  1. ^ a b c Number-one position reached at / after first match

Ranking by matches played as leaderEdit

Nation Games[a] Days as
leader[b]
First date
as leader
Last date
as leader
  Brazil 301 8,711 12 Jun 1958 current
  England 154 10,605 30 Nov 1872 11 Jun 1988
  Germany [c] 139 4,704 25 Jul 1966 9 Nov 2017
  Argentina 123 9,165 20 Jul 1902 10 Nov 2016
  Spain 78 2,869 28 Aug 1920 12 Oct 2013
  France 73 2,022 12 Sep 1984 11 Oct 2018
  Hungary 57 1,897 20 Sep 1952 13 Mar 1960
  Scotland 42 5,966 4 Mar 1876 20 Oct 1926
  Italy 41 2,694 7 Jun 1934 16 Aug 2006
  Soviet Union [d] 41 1,367 21 Mar 1963 25 Jun 1988
  Uruguay 37 1,794 29 Aug 1920 16 Jun 1929
  Netherlands 32 1,039 1 Jun 1978 4 Jul 2014
  Denmark 6 676 5 Jun 1914 8 Oct 1916
  Austria 3 11 27 May 1934 7 Jun 1934
  Czech Republic 2 8 27 Jun 2004 8 Jun 2005
  1. ^ Number of games played (started) with the highest Elo rating amongst nations
  2. ^ Days spent as co-leaders are counted as a ½ day
  3. ^ Combined record of the Germany (1908–1950 & 1990–present) and West Germany (1950–1990) national football teams.
  4. ^ So far, only the Soviet Union national football team (1924–1992) has reached the #1 position, but any future efforts by the Russia national football team (1992–present) will be included.[6]

All-time team highs and lowsEdit

The following is a list of national football teams ranked by the highest Elo rating they ever reached.[7] The table also includes the highest ranking as well as the lowest rating and ranking reached by each nation. The team that has achieved the highest rank in each confederation is shown in color.

  1. ^ The ranking in parentheses is that at the time the highest rating was reached.
  2. ^ a b The date given is when the highest or lowest rating was first reached.
  3. ^ The team's indicated lowest ratings and rank may not have coincided in time.
  4. ^ at present as Russia
  5. ^ at present as Serbia
  6. ^ Formally, Switzerland reached a low of 1485 after its second match, in March 1908.
  7. ^ a b The combined Ireland national football team was in 4th place from its first match in 1882 to 1902, in a period that only 4 teams were in the rankings. It reached a low ratings of 1237 on 29 March 1890.
  8. ^ Wales was in 3rd place from its first match in 1876 to 1902, in a period that only 3 to 4 teams were in the rankings.
  9. ^ On 1 January 2006, Football Federation Australia moved from the OFC to the AFC
  10. ^ Algeria's highest ranking and ratings were reached after the first 5 and 8 matches, respectively.
  11. ^ Cameroon possibly reached a lower ratings after their 4th or 5th match, sometimes in 1956.
  12. ^ South Africa had only played 1 match when reaching its highest ratings and ranking.
  13. ^ at present as DR Congo
  14. ^ Slovakia was ranked highest (17th) for their first six matches.
  15. ^ Finland reached its highest ranking (14th) after 4 games, following wins over Italy and Russia in the 1912 Olympic Games.

Average ratingsEdit

Time averaged Elo or Elo-like scores are routinely used to compare chess player strengths.[8][9][10]

Highest average ratings since 1970Edit

This table is a list of the national teams with the highest average Elo score since 1 January 1970, i.e. over approximately the last half century.[11] Before this time intercontinental play was fairly limited and many nations in Africa, North America, and Asia had played too few games yet to create a representative Elo score. Only those teams are displayed that started playing before 1970 and played the entire period without a 5 year or longer interruption. Some excluded strong national football teams, like East-Germany and Croatia, appear in the decades tables below.

  1. ^ Representing West Germany from 1949 to 1990
  2. ^ Combined record of the USSR (1970-1992), the CIS (1992), and Russia national football teams (1992-present)
  3. ^ Combined record of the Czechoslovakian (1970-1992) and Czech national football teams (1993-present)
  4. ^ Combined record of Yugoslavia (1970-1992), Serbia and Montenegro (1994-2006) and Serbia national football teams (2006-present)

Averages by decadeEdit

The tables below shows the teams with the best average Elo score per decade (Jan 1 XXX0 - Dec 31 XXX9). Only those teams are displayed that had played before the start of the decade and played at least ten games in the decade.

  1. ^ a b Includes the record of the Great Britain Olympic football team in the 1908, 1912 and 1920 Olympics
  2. ^ First game played on 15 May 1910
  3. ^ First game played on 27 May 1910
  4. ^ In the 1940s, most national teams did not play games until after the end of World War II, making comparison of countries for this decade weak.
  5. ^ Average over the period from 2 April 1940 to 8 April 1945
  6. ^ Combined record of Yugoslavia (1990–1992) and FR of Yugoslavia (1994–1999)
  7. ^ Combined record of Czechoslovakia (1990–1992) and Czech national football teams (1993–1999)
  8. ^ Combined record of the USSR (1990–1992), the CIS (1992), and Russia national football teams (1992–1999)
  9. ^ 2010s averages up to 22 May 2019

Highest average over entire team historyEdit

The eloratings.net website presents the average ratings since the first international match of each team. Such averages can not really be compared to each other, as they represent strengths over different periods and in different pools. For example, they represent 146 years of matches for Scotland (34 years of which in a pool of 3 or 4 British nations only), 98 years for Spain, 27 years for Ukraine, and 12 years for Montenegro. For Croatia and Slovakia the average is dominated by the single rating during the 50 years between the few games played between 1940 and 1943 and the rebirth of the countries in the 1990s. Likewise, South Africa's average is mostly determined by the 44 matches (of a 417 total in 2018) played in the 86 years before it rejoined FIFA in 1992.

Highest rated matchesEdit

A list of the 25 matches between teams with the highest combined Elo ratings (the nations' points before the matches are given).

Rank Combined
points
Nation 1 Elo 1 Nation 2 Elo 2 Score Date Occasion Location
1 4287   Germany 2203   Argentina 2084 1–0 aet 2014-07-13 World Cup Final   Rio de Janeiro
  Germany 2223   Argentina 2064 2–4 2014-09-03 Friendly   Düsseldorf
3 4278   Hungary 2230   West Germany 2048 2–3 1954-07-04 World Cup Final   Bern
4 4263   Spain 2136   Netherlands 2127 1–0 aet 2010-07-11 World Cup Final   Johannesburg
5 4245   Great Britain 2184   Denmark 2061 4–2 1912-07-04 Olympic Games Final   Stockholm
6 4242   Brazil 2120   Germany 2122 1–7 2014-07-08 World Cup SF   Belo Horizonte
7 4238   West Germany 2114   Brazil 2124 0–1 1973-06-16 Friendly   Berlin
8 4236   Brazil 2086   Spain 2150 3–0 2013-06-30 Confederations Cup Final   Rio de Janeiro
9 4224   Hungary 2208   Uruguay 2016 4–2 1954-06-30 World Cup SF   Lausanne
10 4223   Germany 2104   Brazil 2119 0–1 2018-03-27 Friendly   Berlin
11 4218   Hungary 2180   Brazil 2038 4–2 1954-06-27 World Cup QF   Bern
12 4207   Netherlands 2077   Brazil 2130 2–1 2010-07-02 World Cup QF   Port Elizabeth
13 4200   Brazil 2083   Netherlands 2117 0–0 2011-06-04 Friendly   Goiânia
14 4199   Brazil 2088   West Germany 2111 1–0 1982-03-21 Friendly   Rio de Janeiro
15 4198   Brazil 2060   West Germany 2138 1–1 1977-06-12 Friendly   Rio de Janeiro
16 4197   West Germany 2123   Netherlands 2074 2–1 1974-07-07 World Cup Final   Munich
17 4191   Brazil 2166   Czechoslovakia 2025 3–1 1962-06-17 World Cup Final   Santiago
  West Germany 2135   Brazil 2056 0–1 1978-04-05 Friendly   Hamburg
19 4187   Brazil 2132   Italy 2055 4–1 1970-06-21 World Cup Final   Mexico City
20 4179   Spain 2110   Germany 2069 1–0 2010-07-07 World Cup SF   Durban
  Netherlands 2096   Argentina 2083 0–0 2014-07-09 World Cup SF   São Paulo
22 4177   Germany 2076   Brazil 2101 1–2 1998-03-25 Friendly   Stuttgart
23 4173   West Germany 2097   Netherlands 2076 1–1 1975-05-17 Friendly   Frankfurt
24 4172   West Germany 2104   Poland 2068 1–0 1974-07-03 World Cup 2nd round   Frankfurt
25 4168   England 2141   Denmark 2017 3–0 1911-10-21 Friendly   London

Biggest upsetsEdit

This is a list of matches with the biggest point exchange.[23] Since the importance of the match, the goal differential and the perceived home team advantage are factored in the exchange, these are not necessarily the most surprising wins as expressed by the difference in Elo rating.[b]
The nations' points before the matches are given.

Rank Point
exchange
Nation 1 Elo 1 Nation 2 Elo 2 Score Date Occasion Location
1 98   Sweden 1676   Belgium 1845 8–1 1924-05-29 Olympic Games   Paris
2 92   Italy 1824   Spain 1991 7–1 1928-06-04