Skip to main content

The top 10 national teams in the world - according to FIFA's world rankings

Romelu Lukaku
(Image credit: PA)

No one is quite sure how the FIFA World Rankings work - but they're the benchmark for how we measure the top teams in international football. Apart from, you know, World Cups, Euros, Copa Americas...

The World Rankings began in 1993, with the footballing governing body looking to establish some kind of order of who was good and who... wasn't. And it's easy to see them as some kind of seeding ahead of a major tournament - especially if you've not been paying much attention to the CONCACAF qualifiers prior to the World Cup and don't recognise any of the Mexico lads from the Premier League.

RANKED! The 30 best players in the world over 30

They may be flawed but they're all we've got to go on. Here are the top 10...

10. Denmark

Denmark 2022 World Cup

(Image credit: PA)

The plucky Danes who dared to dream reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020, where they were ultimately undone by Harry Kane scoring from the rebound of a penalty. Debate will no doubt rumble on in the country as to whether or not that was fair.

The Danish are a strong outfit though with plenty of talent across the pitch and a well-coached system from Kasper Hjulmund. Perhaps they'll be a dark horse for Qatar. 

9. Mexico

They're always there at the World Cup, they alway get a win here or there and they generally get to the next round before being humbled - in fact, Mexico are one of two nations along with Brazil to have made it out of the group stage over the last seven World Cups. Impressive.

These days, Mexico have a black and pink home kit (strange), have thrashed Nigeria 4-0 this year and still - still - have fuzzy-haired Guillermo Ochoa in goal. With the likes of Raul Jimenez, Hirving Lozano and Jesus Corona in attack though, it's a decent team they have - ninth place seems fair.

8. Portugal

Portugal

(Image credit: Getty)

The Portuguese massively underwhelmed at Euro 2020, putting Hungary to the sword and getting torn limb from limb by the Germans before Belgium put them out of their misery.

For all that incredible talent in Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, Joao Felix, Ruben Dias (we could go on), they've struggled to make it gel. Still, eighth-best in the world seems about right. 

7. Spain

Spain reached the Euros semi-finals off the back of mixed performances, having hammered Croatia but struggled to break Sweden down. La Roja's golden generation has long retired - but perhaps we shouldn't judge them by that anymore.

The Spanish still have quality across the pitch and technicians in midfield who can pass you to death. With some top talent coming out of the country at the moment, Luis Enrique's side will fancy their chances to spring another surprise or two, come next winter at the World Cup.

6. Argentina

Argentina 2022 World Cup

(Image credit: PA)

Argentina have been underachievers in the international game for as long as any of us can remember. They should've won the 2006 World Cup, while Chile's pair of penalty-aided Copa Americas in 2015 and 2016 suggested that perhaps Leo Messi would never win an international trophy.

2021 changed all that, thanks to Emi Martinez in goal, the emergence of Rodrigo De Paul and Cristian Romero, and Lautaro Martinez assuming the baton from Sergio Aguero in attack. Argentina look more rounded than ever and less reliant on Messi - they're a better team for it.

5. England

Apparently, there are four sides better than the greatest England team of a generation. Pffft, whatever...

England's exploits at the Euros have put them in good stead for a strong World Cup next year - and the side could even get better with the likes of Jude Bellingham, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka and Mason Greenwood all developing too. Fifth on Earth isn't bad at all...

4. Italy

Italy

(Image credit: PA)

The European champions Italy have had a steady rise back to the top after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup at all. Now, Roberto Mancini's side are well-drilled, gritty and hard to beat, yet with tons of flair in attack.

The Italians are looking forward to the World Cup in Qatar, where they will no doubt be one of the favourites. Though with lynchpins in defence Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci not exactly getting any younger, they're going to need to replace their ageing backline sooner rather than later.

3. France

France have just won the Nations League and if we're being wholly honest, they were cruelly unlucky to be eliminated from the Euros on penalties.

Les Bleus still have the envy of the world to call upon, with the most incredible depth of any nation on Earth. They'll be the team to beat once more at the World Cup in 2022, simply because they're so strong.

2. Brazil

Brazil 2022 World Cup

(Image credit: PA)

A Copa America final defeat over the summer won't have dented too much confidence in the Brazilians, who find themselves up to second in the world rankings. 

The Selecao have underwhelmed or crashed and burned since 2002 but with arguably the best group of players since - led by Neymar - the 20-year anniversary of their last world title might see them with their best shot at winning a sixth. Tite is in charge now with unbelievable talent at his fingertips. 

1. Belgium

The perennial underachievers who may well be past their prime, Belgium really had to win Euro 2020 if they were to fulfil the Golden Generation's promise. 

Alas, Roberto Martinez's Red Devils stumbled again, meaning there isn't much life left in this collection of Belgians, as Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Eden Hazard and a now-30 Kevin De Bruyne creep closer to the other side of the hill. Still, they're the no.1 team in international football - and anyone who beats them will see it as a scalp. 

Subscribe to FourFourTwo today and save over a third on standard price.

Restock your kit bag with the best deals for footballers on Amazon right now

ALSO READ

LIST Football Manager 2022: All the FM22 wonderkids you'll need to sign

TALENT FIFA 22: The 150 best wonderkids in the game

GUIDE Best football gifts: Present ideas for football fans