Top 10 Rankings as of 31 December 1958
1 Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg Brazil 64.25
2 Flag of France.svg France 52.75
3 Flag of Yugoslavia (1943–1992).svg Yugoslavia 50.75
4 Flag of Argentina.svg Argentina 44.88
5 Flag of Uruguay.svg Uruguay 42.75
6 Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Great Britain 39.25
7 Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden 39.00
8 Flag of Paraguay.svg Paraguay 37.88
9 23x15px Soviet Union 36.00
10 Flag of Hungary.svg Hungary 35.00
Historical #1 teams

The FIFA World Ranking is a ranking system that rates the men's national teams that are currently led by Brazil. The rankings were introduced in 1928 and have seen four teams in Italy, Netherlands, Yugoslavia and Brazil holding the top position with Italy holding it the longest.



In June 1928, FIFA published a ranking system to determinate the 1930 FIFA World Cup qualification seeds. This was a simple system which factored in the performance in the world tournaments with one for the winner to seven for not participating in the qualifiers. This immediately caused a controversy with the English captain saying that it didn't reflect the true ranking of the English team and withdrew from competing in the World Cup qualifiers of 1930. After the British teams withdrew from the competition, a change in how the ranking system worked in 1936 with an extension of playoffs while increasing each by one. After the 1948 Olympics were held in the United Kingdom, Italy kept the top spot while Mexico moved eleven spots up the ranking. When the first World Cup after the Second World War ended, the rankings barely moved with the biggest risers being Norway who jumped up six spots.

The 1952 Summer Olympics saw the biggest surprise with Netherlands dropping out of the top 3 for the first time as they were replaced by World Cup champions Sweden. The final ranking before the change happened after the 1954 FIFA World Cup where Italy stayed on top with the biggest movers being Hungary who jumped into the top 10 for the first time after winning the tournament. In mid-1956, FIFA elected to change the ranking system so that their more emphasis on continental football while keeping the rankings to see who was the best.


The first ranking update since the new system was brought saw a couple of new faces with Paraguay and Korea making an appearance in the top ten teams of the world. Italy and the Netherlands, on the other hand, plummeted down the rankings to outside the top thirty ranked teams. Yugoslavia on the other hand would jump to the top spot of the tree with Romania and Sweden behind them in second and third. After they stayed on top of the World Rankings for two years, a bad performance at the 1958 FIFA World Cup meant that they would drop to third while Brazil would jump to the number one spot while the Soviet Union got into the top ten for the first time.


When the FIFA rankings were introduced, the Netherlands debuted as the top-ranked team following from previous performances which include making the final of the 1926 FIFA World Cup. For the Netherlands, they stayed at the top team until the Olympic Football tournament in 1936 where Italy gained the top spot for the first time which they would hold through the second World War. After the World War, the Italians kept their lead after being knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Olympics before being bundled out in the Group Stage of the 1950 FIFA World Cup.

After the change of the rankings, Yugoslavia had jumped to the top of the tree backed by recent performances which put them on the top of the leaderboard. This would be then be changed with Brazil winning the World Cup which meant that they went to the top of the tree.

External links

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