World Football Elo Ratings

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The World Football Elo Ratings is a ranking system for men's national association football teams that is published by the website eloratings.net. It is based on the Elo rating system but includes modifications to take various football-specific variables into account, like the margin of victory, importance of a match, and home field advantage. Other implementations of the Elo rating system are possible and there is no single nor any official Elo ranking for football teams. The FIFA World Rankings, not based on the Elo method, is the official national teams rating system used by the international governing body of football and is therefore more prevalent.

The ratings consider all international "A" matches for which results could be found. Ratings tend to converge on a team's true strength relative to its competitors after about 30 matches.[1] Ratings for teams with fewer than 30 matches should be considered provisional.

The FIFA Women's World Rankings system uses a modified version of the Elo formula whereas the FIFA men's ranking system uses a non-Elo formula. A 2009 comparative study of eight methods found that the implementation of the Elo rating system described below had the highest predictive capability for football matches, while the men's FIFA ranking method performed poorly.[2]

Top 100

The following table shows the top 100 teams in the World Football Elo Ratings as they were on 11 January 2018, using data from the World Football Elo Ratings web site.[3]

Each national team's FIFA World Rankings are shown as they were in the latest release on 21 December 2017.[4]

AFC CAF CONCACAF CONIFA CONMEBOL OFC UEFA
  1. ^ Northern Cyprus are not a member of FIFA and are not included in the FIFA Rankings. Also, they have played only 16 matches against other Elo-ranked teams, so their Elo rating is provisional.
  2. ^ Kuwait is ranked much lower in the FIFA Ranking because they were inactive from October 2015 to December 2017 due to their suspension from FIFA. While this caused their FIFA Ranking to fall dramatically, their Elo rating remained the same. The same applies to Guatemala but to a lesser extent.
  3. ^ Martinique are also not a member of FIFA and are not included in the FIFA Rankings.
  4. ^ Iraqi Kurdistan are not a member of FIFA and are not included in the FIFA Rankings. Also, they have played only 4 matches against other Elo-ranked teams, so their Elo rating is provisional.

Highest average ratings since 1970

Time averaged Elo or Elo-like scores are routinely used to compare chess player strengths.[5][6][7] The following is a list of the national teams with the highest average Elo score from 1 January 1970 to 1 January 2018. Before this time intercontinental play was fairly limited and many nations in Africa, North America, and Asia had played too few games yet to create a representative Elo score.

List of number one teams

The following is the list of nations who have achieved the number one position in the World Football Elo Ratings since 1872:

Ranking by days as leader

Nation days First Date as Leader Last Date as Leader
 England 13,190 30 November 1872 11 June 1988
 Brazil 8,707 12 June 1958 Current
 Argentina 7,449 16 June 1929 9 Nov 2016
 Scotland 6,215 4 March 1876 23 Oct 1926
 Germany [e] 4,398 25 July 1966 9 November 2017
 Spain 2,534 5 September 1920 11 October 2013
 Italy 2,259 7 June 1934 15 August 2006
 Uruguay 2,020 18 September 1920 31 October 1929
 Hungary 2,001 2 August 1952 11 June 1958
 France 1,868 12 September 1984 10 July 2007
 Soviet Union [f] 1,450 31 March 1963 24 June 1988
 Netherlands 965 1 June 1978 3 July 2014
 Denmark 105 25 June 1916 7 Oct 1916
 Austria 11 27 May 1934 6 June 1934
 Czech Republic [g] 9 25 May 1924 7 June 2005

Elo all-time records

All-time highest ratings

The following is a list of national football teams ranked by their highest Elo score ever reached. The team in each confederation that has achieved the highest rank is shown in color. The biggest point gap between 1st and 2nd national team: Brazil with a record 177-point margin over Soviet Union between 17 June 1962 and 2 March 1963.

All-time highest ranking

The following is a list of national football teams ranked by their highest Elo ranking ever reached. Note that for the highest ranking/rating of a national football team the Elo ratings website ignores the ranking/rating before 30 matches have been played.

Averages by decade

The table below shows the teams with the best average Elo score per decade (Jan 1 XXX0 - Dec 31 XXX9).

Highest rated matches

A list of the 25 matches between teams with the highest combined Elo ratings (the nations' points before the matches are given).

Rank Combined
points
Nation 1 Elo 1 Nation 2 Elo 2 Score Date Occasion Location
1 4288  Germany 2203  Argentina 2085 1–0 aet 2014-07-13 World Cup Final Brazil Rio de Janeiro
 Germany 2223  Argentina 2065 2–4 2014-09-03 Friendly Germany Düsseldorf
3 4284  Hungary 2235  West Germany 2049 2–3 1954-07-04 World Cup Final Switzerland Bern
4 4263  Spain 2136  Netherlands 2127 1–0 aet 2010-07-11 World Cup Final South Africa Johannesburg
5 4254  England 2192  Denmark 2062 4–2 1912-07-04 Olympic Games Final Sweden Stockholm
6 4242  Brazil 2120  Germany 2122 1–7 2014-07-08 World Cup SF Brazil Belo Horizonte
7 4235  West Germany 2113  Brazil 2122 0–1 1973-06-16 Friendly West Germany Berlin
 Brazil 2085  Spain 2150 3–0 2013-06-30 Confederations Cup Final Brazil Rio de Janeiro
9 4226  Hungary 2213  Uruguay 2013 4–2 1954-06-30 World Cup SF Switzerland Lausanne
10 4222  Hungary 2186  Brazil 2036 4–2 1954-06-27 World Cup QF Switzerland Bern
 Germany 2109  Brazil 2113 2018-03-27 Friendly Germany Berlin
12 4207  Netherlands 2077  Brazil 2130 2–1 2010-07-02 World Cup QF South Africa Port Elizabeth
13 4200  Brazil 2083  Netherlands 2117 0–0 2011-06-04 Friendly Brazil Goiânia
14 4197  Brazil 2087  West Germany 2110 1–0 1982-03-21 Friendly Brazil Rio de Janeiro
15 4196  Brazil 2059  West Germany 2137 1–1 1977-06-12 Friendly Brazil Rio de Janeiro
16 4195  West Germany 2122  Netherlands 2073 2–1 1974-07-07 World Cup Final West Germany Munich
17 4189  West Germany 2134  Brazil 2055 0–1 1978-04-05 Friendly West Germany Hamburg
18 4187  Brazil 2164  Czechoslovakia 2023 3–1 1962-06-17 World Cup Final Chile Santiago
19 4183  Brazil 2130  Italy 2053 4–1 1970-06-21 World Cup Final Mexico Mexico City
20 4180  Netherlands 2096  Argentina 2084 0–0 2014-07-09 World Cup SF Brazil São Paulo
21 4178  Spain 2110  Germany 2068 1–0 2010-07-07 World Cup SF South Africa Durban
22 4177  Germany 2076  Brazil 2101 1–2 1998-03-25 Friendly Germany Stuttgart
23 4171  England 2154  Denmark 2010 3–0 1911-10-21 Friendly England London
 West Germany 2096  Netherlands 2075 1–1 1975-05-17 Friendly West Germany Frankfurt
25 4170  West Germany 2103  Poland 2067 1–0 1974-07-03 World Cup 2nd round West Germany Frankfurt

Biggest upsets

This is a list of matches with the biggest point exchange. Since the importance of the match, the goal differential and the perceived home team advantage are factored in the exchange, these are not necessarily the most surprising wins as expressed by the difference in Elo rating.[y]
The nations' points before the matches are given.

Rank Point
exchange
Nation 1 Elo 1 Nation 2 Elo 2 Score Date Occasion Location
1 97  Sweden 1680  Belgium 1844 8–1 1924-05-29 Olympic Games France Paris
2 92  Italy 1825  Spain 1992 7–1 1928-06-04 Olympic Games Netherlands Amsterdam
3 91  Turkey 1395  China * 1647 4–0 1948-08-02 Olympic Games United Kingdom Walthamstow
4 87  Norway 1484  Great Britain 2062 3–1 1920-08-28 Olympic Games Belgium Antwerp
5 84  Egypt * 1677  Hungary 1919 3–0 1924-05-29 Olympic Games France Paris
 Czechoslovakia 1854  Argentina 2001 6–1 1958-06-15 World Cup Sweden Helsingborg
7 83  Fiji 1172  New Zealand 1526 4–0 1980-02-23 OFC Nations Cup New Caledonia Nouméa
8 82  Ghana 1606  Czech Republic 2005 2–0 2006-06-17 World Cup Germany Cologne
9 81  Brazil 2120  Germany 2122 1–7 2014-07-08 World Cup Brazil Belo Horizonte
10 80  Germany 1642  Russia * 1567 16–0 1912-07-01 Olympic Games Sweden Solna
 Trinidad and Tobago 1480  Mexico 1785 4–0 1973-12-14 CONCACAF Championship Haiti Port-au-Prince
12 79  Turkey 1602  South Korea * 1664 7–0 1954-06-20 World Cup Switzerland Geneva
13 78  Paraguay 1681  Uruguay 2050 3–0 1929-11-01 Copa América Argentina Buenos Aires
 Chile 1584  Uruguay 1953 3–0 1937-01-10 Copa América Argentina Buenos Aires
15 77  Japan * [z] 1200  Philippines * [z] 1200 2–15 1917-05-07 Far Eastern Games Japan Tokyo
 Uruguay 1812  Brazil 2160 3–0 1959-12-12 Copa América Ecuador Guayaquil
 Croatia 1913  Germany 2090 3–0 1998-07-04 World Cup France Lyon
18 76  Germany 1905  Norway 1715 0–2 1936-08-07 Olympic Games Germany Berlin
 Costa Rica 1717  Guatemala 1491 1–4 1946-03-10 CCCF Championship Costa Rica San José
 United States 1887  Mexico 1788 0–5 2009-07-26 CONCACAF Gold Cup United States East Rutherford
21 75  Denmark 1763  Italy 2041 5–3 1948-08-05 Olympic Games United Kingdom London
 Venezuela 1336  Bolivia 1645 3–0 1967-01-28 Copa América Uruguay Montevideo
 Netherlands 1986  Spain 2109 5–1 2014-06-13 World Cup Brazil Salvador
24 74  Chile 1799  Brazil 2031 4–0 1987-07-03 Copa América Argentina Córdoba
25 73  Japan 1369  Ghana 1726 3–1 1964-10-22 Olympic Games [aa] Japan Kyoto
 Montserrat 511  British Virgin Islands 758 7–0 2012-09-09 Caribbean Cup qualifier Martinique Fort-de-France

*The initial ratings may be partially responsible for the high point exchange. The national teams of China, Egypt, Russia, and South Korea had played only 18, 3, 2, and 18 international matches before their respective upsets. China had only yet played against East Asian teams.

Elo Ratings before each World Championship