Five of the strangest things about the new FIFA World Rankings

FIFA’s Coca-Cola emblazoned World Rankings are good for giggle each and every time they’re updated due to the incongruous findings of their statistical formulae.

With fans more than usually attuned to international goings-on after the World Cup in Brazil, the shortcomings of the governing body’s number-crunching are under greater scrutiny.

Come along then children, it’s time to point at these five funny things and laugh.

The rankings take results in friendly matches into account.

News to this – FIFA, in their infinite wisdom, included the results of 46 dry-runs in the calculations, in all their defunct, tinkerman irrelevance.

England have fallen to their lowest ranking in 18 years.

Wayne Rooney falls to the floor on England duty

On first glance perhaps it’s little more than they deserve but, given that their 1996 standing was artificially deflated due to the fact that didn’t have to qualify for Euro 1996, the latest rankings represent a particularly scathing assessment of their downfall.

Russia are still ranked higher than Algeria and the Ivory Coast.

Islam Slimani looks on ruefully

Pound-for-pound the most boring team in Brazil, Fabio Capello’s men started the tournament above Algeria and the Ivory Coast.

How grossly unjust it is that the Fennec Foxes remain below the Russians in the charts despite giving the eventual champions an exceptionally rough passage after reaching the second round for the first time in their history at the expense of Capello’s men.

The Netherlands were as low as 15th before the World Cup.

Arjen Robben celebrates in a Netherlands shirt

Restored to a lofty third place that befits their continued standing in the game it’s hard to believe there were 14 sides considered better than the Oranje events in Brazil began.

After all they’d qualified for the tournament with the best record in the UEFA section.

USA have slipped two rungs down the standings.

John Brooks celebrates scoring for the USA against Ghana

Barack Obama might want to consider harnessing the USMNT in his nation’s on-going battle for hearts and minds in various parts of the Middle East, so lovable were the Stars and Stripes in Brazil.

Strangely, extricating themselves intact from the World Cup group stages for the third time in four tournaments only earned them a two-place beatdown on the FIFA cool list.

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Thomas cut his teeth in the world of betting punditry writing an illicit blog while seemingly hard at work in the library of one of the country’s foremost seats of learning. Since then he’s been booting in a steady stream of winning wagers across the football, horse racing and boxing worlds for a range of online and print-based publications.