canada fifa ranking

Canada soccer keeps climbing in FIFA ranking ahead of World Cup

It’s been an impressive climb for Canada in the FIFA World rankings over the course of the last half-decade, and that ascension will culminate in an appearance at the World Cup later this month.

So much so, in fact, that they're ahead of nearly a half-dozen competitors at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar with their No. 41 world ranking.

To put that into context, Canada, just five years ago, was ranked 120th overall.

Now they’ll enter the quadrennial affair ahead of some more traditional footy countries, including the host Qatar, who slots at No. 50. Canada also ranks higher than Cameroon (No. 43), Ecuador (No. 44), Saudi Arabia (No. 51), and Ghana (No. 61).

Canada also has better odds than 10 other countries to win the World Cup.

Canada will play in Group F at the World Cup, with matches against Belgium, Morocco, and Croatia. Belgium is ranked No. 2, and lost to France in the semi-final four years ago. Croatia is ranked No. 12 and was a surprise World Cup finalist in 2018. Morocco is ranked No. 22.

FIFA uses a point-scoring system to work out standings, with the method for calculating FIFA rankings officially changing in August 2018. The rankings are updated after each recognized international window.

The system now works by adding or subtracting points from a team’s previous total based on results, rather than an average number of points earned over a certain period.

The number of points either added or subtracted reflects the quality of competition the country faces; a win against a top-10 team generates more points than a win over a country ranked outside the top 20, for example.

The event surrounding the game also impacts the weighting. FIFA uses the following determinations:

  • 5 – friendlies played outside the International Match Calendar windows
  • 10 – friendlies played within the International Match Calendar windows
  • 15 – UEFA Nations League matches (group stage)
  • 25 – UEFA Nations League matches (playoffs and finals), Confederations’ final competitions qualifiers, FIFA World Cup qualifiers
  • 35 – Confederations’ final competitions matches (before quarter-finals)
  • 40 – Confederations’ final competitions matches (quarter-finals and later)
  • 50 – FIFA World Cup matches (before quarter-finals)
  • 60 – FIFA World Cup matches (quarter-finals, semi-finals, third place play-off and final)

Matches decided by penalties are also a consideration for the points system. A win only nets the equivalent of a half-point, whereas a loss is given the same points as a draw.

FIFA provides an example of how its system is calculated:

  • Team A has 1300 points before the match and wins a continental qualifier against Team B which has 1500 points
  • For Team A the formula is: P=1300+25*(1–(1/(10 exp (-(1300–1500)/600) +1)))
  • For Team B the formula is: P = 1500 + 25 * (0- (1 /(10 exp (-(1500-1300)/600) + 1)))
  • Thus, Team A wins 17 points and has P = 1317 points after the match
  • Team B loses the same amount of points and thus ends up with 1483 points after the match

Italy, ranked No. 6, did not qualify for the World Cup, nor did No. 17 Columbia, No. 23 Peru, No. 25 Sweden, and No. 27 Ukraine.

Here is every country's FIFA ranking heading into the World Cup:

1. Brazil
2. Belgium
3. Argentina
4. France
5. England
7. Spain
8. Netherlands
9. Portugal
10. Denmark
11. Germany
12. Croatia
13. Mexico
14. Uruguay
15. Switzerland
16. USA
18. Senegal
19. Wales
20. Iran
21. Serbia
22. Morocco
24. Japan
26. Poland
28. South Korea
30. Tunisia
31. Costa Rica
38. Australia
41. Canada
43. Cameroon
44. Ecuador
50. Qatar
51. Saudi Arabia
61. Ghana

Lead photo by

Canada Soccer


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