The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking has a new leader: Italy. Following a successful year for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ winners, Italy have managed to topple Brazil and reclaim the top spot for the first time since November 1993, ending Brazil's remarkable 55-month run at the top of the leader board. For their part, the South Americans recently suffered a 0-2 friendly defeat to Portugal, currently ranked eighth.
Larger losses in February can be most clearly seen among the African teams: Cameroon (17th, down 6), Nigeria (36th, down 27), Egypt (42nd, down 23), Tunisia (45th, down 13) and Guinea (62nd, down 40) all slip down the ranking. All five teams have suffered from the depreciation in points of CAF Africa Cup of Nations matches played in January 2006. On a more positive note, several African teams improved their position over the past few weeks, with Ghana (22nd, up 6), Burkina Faso (57th, up 5) and 2010 FIFA World Cup™ hosts South Africa (59th, up 10) making notable gains.
Central America has also seen improvements, with four teams climbing more than ten positions in the last month due to successful qualifying campaigns for the next Gold Cup: Costa Rica (54th, up 12), Trinidad and Tobago (68th, up 19), Guatemala (87th, up 18) and El Salvador (125th, up 31). Trinidad and Tobago can also lay claim to the highest point-scoring match in February's ranking due to their 3-1 defeat of fellow CONCACAF member Cuba in a recent continental qualifier.
This month's ranking covers 87 new matches, most of them friendlies (74), with the remaining 13 games classed as continental qualifiers (Gold Cup, UEFA EURO 2008).
- The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 14 March 2007.
Calculation of points for a single match
P = M x I x T x C
M: points for Match result
Teams gain 3 points for a victory, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a defeat. In a penalty shoot-out, the winning team gains 2 points and the losing team gains 1 point.
I: Importance of match
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
T: strength of opposing Team
The strength of the opponents is based on the formula: 200 – the ranking position of the opponents.As an exception to this formula, the team at the top of the ranking is always assigned the value 200 and the teams ranked 150th and below are assigned a minimum value of 50. The ranking position is taken from the opponents’ ranking in the most recently published FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
C: strength of Confederation
When calculating matches between teams from different confederations, the mean value of the confederations to which the two competing teams belong is used. The strength of a confederation is calculated on the basis of the number of victories by that confederation at the last three FIFA World Cup™ competitions (see following page). Their values are as follows:
|Points Last Month|
|Points outside Ranking calculation|