With the World Cup just under a year away and Brazil’s surprise win over Spain in the Confederations Cup Final, on the 4th July 2013, FIFA updated their World Rankings. There have been some impressive rises and some rather ungraceful falls by national teams in the lead up to the World Cup. The new rankings will definitely change the odds on websites such as Betsson Sportsbook for the favourites to make progress in the 2014 World Cup.
Current World Champions, Spain, still remain at the top of the leader board with the Confederations Cup seeming like a minor blip on an impressive record. Before the Final against Brazil, Spain had gone an impressive 29 competitive matches in a row without a defeat that dates back to June 2010. Although Brazil defeated them, it will take more than the Final to knock them off their perch and domination of World Football. With their Spain U21s winning the European U21 Football Championship, it looks as though they have a bright future and may retain their title at the top of the rankings for some time.
Not only did Brazil gain their fourth Confederations Cup with their emphatic win over Spain, however they also gained the reward of moving up 13 places in the World Rankings to ninth position overall for July. Having won all five of their matches in the Confederations Cup and defeating France in a friendly, they have collected the most points out of any national team with 223 points. Playing at the World Cup in front of their home fans, as well as with Scolari at the helm, and one of the most exciting squads in the tournament, 2014 could well be Brazil’s year to reclaim the World Cup.
Dropping down to 15th in the latest FIFA rankings, England now sits in their lowest position since failing to qualify for Euro 2008. The ungraceful fall of the England national team sees them outside of the top ten, having fallen by six places and have Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ivory Coast and Greece all ahead of them in the rankings. It was only in August 2012 that England was sitting happily in third place. However, with draws against Brazil and the Republic of Ireland in post-season friendlies, their ranking has been affected. With the World Cup fast approaching, Hodgson will have to pick us his side and bring them back to the top of the rankings and maybe even end the wait for a trophy.
Ranked 22nd in the world rankings back in September 2012, the Colombian national football team are now in the highest position they have ever been in their history. A shock to many who have not paid much attention to the Colombian football team, the national team currently sits third in the table, only behind Germany and Spain and one place ahead of Argentina. With talented players such as Radamel Falcao, Fredy Guarin and James Rodriguez the hopes of the nation rest on their shoulders to help them re-emerge on the world stage on 2014. Coach, Jose Pekerman has built an impressive squad and the team looks set to qualify for what would be only their fifth World Cup. The outsiders for the World Cup, Colombia could take the competition by storm and with less pressure on them than other teams like Brazil, Spain and Argentina to perform well, they can concentrate on enjoying the competition.
The start of the FIFA World Cup 2014 is approaching ever closer and as the build-up continues, the speculation carries on increasing as to who will be picked for the national team and who will go on to win the competition. Every first Thursday of the month, FIFA release the World Rankings table which calculates the position of the national teams. Although their performance on the day of the World Cup is what counts at the end of the day, the rankings offer an interesting insight into how the World Cup Finals may pan out.