After an eventful 2008, in which 1,060 international matches were played, 2009 has started slowly but surely. January's FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking takes into account the 27 senior international matches played so far this year as well as 20 matches played in the second half of December 2008. This has led to the status quo being preserved at the top of the ranking, with the top 14 positions remaining unchanged and Spain retaining a comfortable lead over nearest rivals Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Brazil.
Indeed, the only climbers in the top 20 are Egypt (15th, up 1) and Nigeria (17th, up 2). Costa Rica (47th, up 6) are the only team currently in the top 50 to have risen more than five places, thus earning a place among the world's 50 best teams for the first time since July 2007. Lithuania are the only other team to move into the top 50, while the other movers in the ranking are predominantly from Asia or Africa. The Gulf Cup in Oman and the CECAFA Cup in Uganda, both currently under way, are two tournaments that have already had a positive effect on the positions of some of the teams taking part. For example, the Gambia (75th, up 13), Vietnam (138th, up 17) and Somalia (178th, up 22) have all climbed more than 10 places. The remaining matches in these tournaments will be taken into account in the February ranking.
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|