World Football Elo Ratings
Get World Football Elo Ratings essential facts below. View Videos or join the World Football Elo Ratings discussion. Add World Football Elo Ratings to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
World Football Elo Ratings

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.

Since being developed, the Elo rankings have been found to have the highest predictive capability for football matches.[1] FIFA's official rankings, both the FIFA World Rankings for men and the FIFA Women's World Rankings are based on a modified version of the Elo formula, the men's rankings having switched away from FIFA's own system for matches played since June 2018.[2]

Top 100

The following table shows the top 100 teams in the World Football Elo Ratings as they were on 9 December 2019, using data from the World Football Elo Ratings web site.[3]

Each national team's FIFA World Ranking is shown as per the latest release on 28 November 2019.[4]

  1. ^ Guatemala is ranked much lower in the FIFA Ranking because they were inactive from September 2016 to August 2018 due to their suspension from FIFA. While this caused their FIFA Ranking to fall dramatically under the former system, their Elo rating remained the same.
  2. ^ Northern Cyprus is not a member of FIFA and is not included in the FIFA Rankings. Also, the team has played only 17 matches against other Elo-ranked teams, so its Elo rating is provisional.
  3. ^ Martinique are also not members of FIFA, so are not included in the FIFA Rankings.
  4. ^ Iraqi Kurdistan is not a member of FIFA and is not included in the FIFA Rankings. Also, the team has played only 4 matches against other Elo-ranked teams, so its Elo rating is provisional.

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 the first international match in 1872:[5]

  1. ^ a b c Number-one position reached at / after first match

Ranking by matches played as leader

Nation Games[a] Days as
leader[b]
First date
as leader
Last date
as leader
 Brazil 315 8,496 12 Jun 1958 15 Nov 2019
 England 154 10,605 30 Nov 1872 11 Jun 1988
 Germany [c] 139 4,704 25 Jul 1966 9 Nov 2017
 Argentina 123 9,165 20 Jul 1902 9 Nov 2016
 Spain 78 2,869 28 Aug 1920 11 Oct 2013
 France 73 2,022 12 Sep 1984 10 Oct 2018
 Hungary 57 1,897 20 Sep 1952 12 Mar 1960
 Scotland 42 5,966 4 Mar 1876 19 Oct 1926
 Italy 41 2,694 7 Jun 1934 15 Aug 2006
 Soviet Union [d] 41 1,367 21 Mar 1963 24 Jun 1988
 Uruguay 37 1,794 29 Aug 1920 15 Jun 1929
 Netherlands 32 1,039 1 Jun 1978 3 Jul 2014
 Denmark 6 676 5 Jun 1914 7 Oct 1916
 Austria 3 11 27 May 1934 6 Jun 1934
 Czech Republic 2 8 27 Jun 2004 7 Jun 2005
 Belgium 1 24 16 Nov 2019 current
  1. ^ Number of games played (started) with the highest Elo rating amongst nations
  2. ^ Days spent as co-leaders are counted as a ½ day
  3. ^ Combined record of the Germany (1908-1950 & 1990-present) and West Germany (1950-1990) national football teams.
  4. ^ So far, only the Soviet Union national football team (1924-1992) has reached the #1 position, but any future efforts by the Russia national football team (1992-present) will be included.[6]

All-time team highs and lows

The following is a list of national football teams ranked by the highest Elo rating they ever reached.[7] The table also includes the highest ranking as well as the lowest rating and ranking reached by each nation. The team that has achieved the highest rank in each confederation is shown in color.

  1. ^ The ranking in parentheses is that at the time the highest rating was reached.
  2. ^ a b The date given is when the highest or lowest rating was first reached.
  3. ^ The team's indicated lowest ratings and rank may not have coincided in time.
  4. ^ at present as Russia
  5. ^ at present as Serbia
  6. ^ Formally, Switzerland reached a low of 1485 after its second match, in March 1908.
  7. ^ a b The combined Ireland national football team was in 4th place from its first match in 1882 to 1902, in a period that only 4 teams were in the rankings. It reached a low ratings of 1237 on 29 March 1890.
  8. ^ Wales was in 3rd place from its first match in 1876 to 1902, in a period that only 3 to 4 teams were in the rankings.
  9. ^ On 1 January 2006, Football Federation Australia moved from the OFC to the AFC
  10. ^ Algeria's highest ranking and ratings were reached after the first 5 and 8 matches, respectively.
  11. ^ Cameroon possibly reached a lower ratings after their 4th or 5th match, sometimes in 1956.
  12. ^ South Africa had only played 1 match when reaching its highest ratings and ranking.
  13. ^ at present as DR Congo
  14. ^ Slovakia was ranked highest (17th) for their first six matches.
  15. ^ Finland reached its highest ranking (14th) after 4 games, following wins over Italy and Russia in the 1912 Olympic Games.

Average ratings

Time averaged Elo or Elo-like scores are routinely used to compare chess player strengths.[8][9][10]

Highest average ratings since 1970

This table is a list of the national teams with the highest average Elo score since 1 January 1970, i.e. over approximately the last half century.[11] 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. Only those teams are displayed that started playing before 1970 and played the entire period without a 5 year or longer interruption. Some excluded strong national football teams, like East-Germany and Croatia, appear in the decades tables below.

  1. ^ Representing West Germany from 1949 to 1990
  2. ^ Combined record of the USSR (1970-1992), the CIS (1992), and Russia national football teams (1992-present)
  3. ^ Combined record of the Czechoslovakian (1970-1992) and Czech national football teams (1993-present)
  4. ^ Combined record of Yugoslavia (1970-1992), Serbia and Montenegro (1994-2006) and Serbia national football teams (2006-present)

Averages by decade

The tables below shows the teams with the best average Elo score per decade (1 Jan XXX0 - 31 Dec XXX9). Only those teams are displayed that had played before the start of the decade and played at least ten games in the decade.

  1. ^ a b Includes the record of the Great Britain Olympic football team in the 1908, 1912 and 1920 Olympics
  2. ^ First game played on 15 May 1910
  3. ^ First game played on 27 May 1910
  4. ^ In the 1940s, most national teams did not play games until after the end of World War II, making comparison of countries for this decade weak.
  5. ^ Average over the period from 2 April 1940 to 8 April 1945
  6. ^ Combined record of Yugoslavia (1990-1992) and FR of Yugoslavia (1994-1999)
  7. ^ Combined record of Czechoslovakia (1990-1992) and Czech national football teams (1993-1999)
  8. ^ Combined record of the USSR (1990-1992), the CIS (1992), and Russia national football teams (1992-1999)
  9. ^ 2010s averages up to 24 June 2019

Highest average over entire team history

The eloratings.net website presents the average ratings since the first international match of each team. Such averages can not really be compared to each other, as they represent strengths over different periods and in different pools. For example, they represent 147 years of matches for Scotland (34 years of which in a pool of 3 or 4 British nations only), 99 years for Spain, 27 years for Ukraine, and 12 years for Montenegro. For Croatia and Slovakia the average is dominated by the single rating during the 50 years between the few games played between 1940 and 1943 and the rebirth of the countries in the 1990s. Likewise, South Africa's average is mostly determined by the 44 matches (of a 417 total in 2018) played in the 86 years before it rejoined FIFA in 1992.

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 4287  Germany 2203  Argentina 2084 1-0 aet 2014-07-13 World Cup Final Brazil Rio de Janeiro
 Germany 2223  Argentina 2064 2-4 2014-09-03 Friendly Germany Düsseldorf
3 4278  Hungary 2230  West Germany 2048 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 4245  Great Britain 2184  Denmark 2061 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 4238  West Germany 2114  Brazil 2124 0-1 1973-06-16 Friendly West Germany Berlin
8 4236  Brazil 2086  Spain 2150 3-0 2013-06-30 Confederations Cup Final Brazil Rio de Janeiro
9 4224  Hungary 2208  Uruguay 2016 4-2 1954-06-30 World Cup SF Switzerland Lausanne
10 4223  Germany 2104  Brazil 2119 0-1 2018-03-27 Friendly Germany Berlin
11 4218  Hungary 2180  Brazil 2038 4-2 1954-06-27 World Cup QF Switzerland Bern
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 4199  Brazil 2088  West Germany 2111 1-0 1982-03-21 Friendly Brazil Rio de Janeiro
15 4198  Brazil 2060  West Germany 2138 1-1 1977-06-12 Friendly Brazil Rio de Janeiro
16 4197  West Germany 2123  Netherlands 2074 2-1 1974-07-07 World Cup Final West Germany Munich
17 4191  Brazil 2166  Czechoslovakia 2025 3-1 1962-06-17 World Cup Final Chile Santiago
 West Germany 2135  Brazil 2056 0-1 1978-04-05 Friendly West Germany Hamburg
19 4187  Brazil 2132  Italy 2055 4-1 1970-06-21 World Cup Final Mexico Mexico City
20 4179  Spain 2110  Germany 2069 1-0 2010-07-07 World Cup SF South Africa Durban
 Netherlands 2096  Argentina 2083 0-0 2014-07-09 World Cup SF Brazil São Paulo
22 4177  Germany 2076  Brazil 2101 1-2 1998-03-25 Friendly Germany Stuttgart
23 4173  West Germany 2097  Netherlands 2076 1-1 1975-05-17 Friendly West Germany Frankfurt
24 4172  West Germany 2104  Poland 2068 1-0 1974-07-03 World Cup 2nd round West Germany Frankfurt
25 4168  England 2141  Denmark 2017 3-0 1911-10-21 Friendly England London

Biggest upsets

This is a list of matches with the biggest point exchange.[23] 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.[b]
The nations' points before the matches are given.

Rank Point
exchange
Nation 1 Elo 1 Nation 2 Elo 2 Score Date Occasion Location
1 98  Sweden 1676  Belgium 1845 8-1 1924-05-29 Olympic Games France Paris
2 92  Italy 1824  Spain 1991 7-1 1928-06-04 Olympic Games Netherlands Amsterdam
 Turkey 1397  China * 1655 4-0 1948-08-02 Olympic Games United Kingdom Walthamstow
4 87  Norway 1478  Great Britain 2041 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 1855  Argentina 2003 6-1 1958-06-15 World Cup Sweden Helsingborg
7 83  Fiji 1171  New Zealand 1523 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
 Turkey 1604  South Korea * 1668 7-0 1954-06-20 World Cup Switzerland Geneva
 Trinidad & Tobago 1481  Mexico 1783 4-0 1973-12-14 CONCACAF Championship Haiti Port-au-Prince
 South Korea 1677  Germany 2044 2-0 2018-06-27 World Cup Russia Kazan
14 78  Paraguay 1685  Uruguay 2054 3-0 1929-11-01 Copa América Argentina Buenos Aires
 Chile 1587  Uruguay 1957 3-0 1937-01-10 Copa América Argentina Buenos Aires
16 77  Uruguay 1813  Brazil 2162 3-0 1959-12-12 Copa América Ecuador Guayaquil
 Croatia 1912  Germany 2090 3-0 1998-07-04 World Cup France Lyon
18 76  Germany 1906  Norway 1714 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 1888  Mexico 1788 0-5 2009-07-26 CONCACAF Gold Cup United States East Rutherford
21 75  Denmark 1759  Italy 2044 5-3 1948-08-05 Olympic Games United Kingdom London
 Venezuela 1336  Bolivia 1646 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 1800  Brazil 2032 4-0 1987-07-03 Copa América Argentina Córdoba
25 73  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