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FIFA World Rankings and Leading Teams

The FIFA World Ranking is a ranking structure for men’s national teams in association football, currently topped by Germany. The teams of the member nations of FIFA, football’s worldwide governing body, are ranked according to their game results with the most flourishing teams being ranked highest.

The ranking system was instituted in December 1992, with eight teams – Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain – having grabbed the top spot, of which Brazil have spent the longest period ranked first. When the system began, Germany d?buted as the first-ranked team after their prolonged stint of supremacy where they had reached the past three FIFA World Cup finals, winning one of them.

Brazil led in the run up to the 1994 FIFA World Cup after eight victories and one loss out of nine qualification matches, while scoring along the way twenty goals and yielding but four. Italy then took over for a brief time on the back of their own equally victorious World Cup qualifying campaign, after which Germany reclaimed the top spot.
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Brazil’s triumph in their long qualifying campaign hurled them back to the lead for a short period. Germany overtook again during the 1994 World Cup, until Brazil’s success in that competition gave them a huge lead that would hold up for almost seven years, until they were beaten by a formidable French team that snatched both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2000 European Football Championship.
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Winning the 2002 FIFA World Cup placed Brazil to the top position, which they held until February 2007, when Italy snatched the top for the first time since 1993 after their win in Germany at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Just a month later, Argentina replaced them, winning the top position for the first time, but Italy recaptured its place in April. Following their Copa Am?rica 2007 win in July, Brazil got back to the top, but was beaten by Italy in September and Argentina in October.

Spain got the lead for the first time in July 2008, after its UEFA Euro 2008 victory. Brazil rallied for a sixth stint on top in July 2009 after it won the 2009 Confederations Cup, and Spain got the title back in November 2009 after it won all of its 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification matches.

Brazil saw the top again in April 2010. After its World Cup victory in 2010, Spain reclaimed the top position and maintained it until August 2011, when The Netherlands became number one for the first time, only to bow out a month after. Germany snatched the lead back in July 2014 after its 2014 FIFA World Cup conquest.

In July 2015, Argentina attained the top spot for the first time since 2008, after reaching both the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, and the 2015 Copa America Final. In November 2015, after ruling their Euro 2016 qualifying group, Belgium became the FIFA ranking leader for the first time until Argentina returned to the top in April 2016. On April 6, 2017, Brazil shot back to No.

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