FIFA have announced their latest world rankings, and it’s no surprise to see current Unofficial Football World Champions France moving to the the top of the list following their World Cup win. The win also moved Les Bleus up the UFWC rankings, but only up to 10th position. Having unified the official and unofficial titles, France are football’s undisputed champions. And they are one of only four teams are ranked in both the FIFA and UFWC top tens, the others being England, Brazil and Uruguay. Here we take a look at the FIFA and UFWC rankings, ahead of the next UFWC title match, France v Germany on 6 September.
First, let’s compare how the rankings are compiled. FIFA’s is done on a fairly complicated new model, which was approved in August 2018, named “SUM”. The model relies on adding or subtracting points for games won or lost using an algorithm, taking into account weightings of matches and other characteristics. A more detailed explanation can be found here.
The UFWC rankings meanwhile, are much simpler. Teams are awarded one point for each UFWC title match win. No points are awarded for draws or defeats. Teams are then ranked numerically by matches won. For example, France have won 26 out of 54 title matches, so have 26 points. But let’s take a closer look at the latest FIFA rankings.
France move up 6 places to 1st in the FIFA rankings, while Belgium move into 2nd place, pushing Brazil down to 3rd. The biggest climbers are World Cup finalists and recent UFWC champions Croatia, who move up 16 places to 4th. Uruguay, also recent UFWC champions, move up 9 places to 5th.
England move up to 6th, Portugal slip top 7th, Switzerland fall to 8th, and Spain and Denmark are tied at 9th to complete the top 10.
The biggest losers in the new FIFA rankings are Germany, who slide out of 1st place all the way out of the top ten and down to 15th. Argentina, Chile and Poland also slip out of the top 10.
Curiously, despite France’s rise and Germany’s fall, the bookies make home team Germany slight favourites to beat France in the UFWC title match next month. You can place your own bet on the match with sport bet bitcoin.
FIFA/Coca-Cola Men’s Rankings, 16 August 2018, FIFA.com
There is no room in the UFWC all-time rankings top ten for FIFA top ten sides Belgium, Croatia, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain or Denmark. Spain are 13th in the UFWC rankings, Switzerland are 21st, Belgium are 31st, Denmark are 34th, Croatia are 37th and Portugal are 40th.
Scotland are, famously, the top-ranked team in the UFWC rankings, followed by England. This is because the UFWC goes back to the first international match in 1872, and for a long time Scotland and England were the only teams playing – and winning – international football matches.
Next up are Argentina in 3rd place, followed by the Netherlands and Russia. Russia were the best movers in the new FIFA rankings, moving up 21 places after their impressive World Cup, but are still ranked just 49th in the world.
Brazil are 6th in the UFWC rankings, followed by Germany, Sweden and Italy. France and Uruguay are tied in 10th place – meaning there are actually 11 teams in the UFWC top ten.
UFWC All-Time Rankings, 22 August 2018, UFWC.co.uk
What would happen if we were to combine the FIFA and UFWC top tens to create an aggregate list? As previously mentioned, only four teams appear in both top tens. If we were to rank those four teams based on their aggregate positions we would get the following “top 4”: 1. England; 2. Brazil; 3. France; 4. Uruguay.
The next UFWC title match, France v Germany on 6 September, will see FIFA ranked team #1 play #15, or UFWC ranked team #10 play #7. So it’s a top ten UFWC clash, if a FIFA one. If you don’t fancy a bet on the match, why not try the bitcoin lottery?
New for 2018,the latest edition of the official UFWC book, Unofficial Football World Champions.
This is the fourth edition of the book that has been published in every World Cup year since 2006. Expanded and updated to include new matches, teams, players and statistics, it’s a complete guide to the UFWC, including all 936 title matches played since 1872, and all 48 unofficial football world champions.
It’s available exclusively from Amazon stores worldwide, priced at £9.99 or $13.95 – click here.