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Friday, July 9, 2010

2014 FIFA World Cup seeding: Can someone break the Big 7?

With Brazil as hosts, we could see all the Big 7 seeded: Argentina, England, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain.

If FIFA will again use the October 2013 ranking to seed the teams, Italy, France and to a lesser extent England didn't exactly start well.

This is the top 20 of the intermediate October 2013 FIFA ranking:

1 Argentina 165
2 Netherlands 161
3 Spain 158
3 Uruguay 158
5 Brazil 141
6 Egypt 124
7 Germany 114
8 Ghana 105
9 Chile 100
10 Paraguay 93
11 Portugal 89
12 New Zealand 84
13 Japan 82
14 England 81
15 Australia 79
16 Slovenia 77
17 Nigeria 73
18 Gabon 71
19 Côte d'Ivoire 67
20 South Africa 63
20 Mexico 63

USA are 22nd, France 34th and Italy 39th.

Right now, the seeds for the 2014 World Cup would be: Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands, Spain, Uruguay, Egypt, Germany and Ghana.

We could see some new seeded teams if FIFA stick to using their ranking - CONMEBOL and CAF teams have the best shot, while Mexico and USA also have their chances.

CAF teams have the upper hand because they will have two final tournaments before October 2013: the 2012 and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Qualifying for the 2012 edition is already under way and according to rumors on the internet there will be a separate qualifying campaign for the 2013 edition. There will also be the Confederations Cup in 2013 - another source of ranking points.

CONCACAF will also have two Gold Cups, but one of them will be in 2011 - bringing less points in October 2013. USA and especially Mexico play too many friendlies and this brings their totals down.

Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay could also spring a surprise if they perform well at the Copa America 2011 and don't lose too many friendlies. There are also rumors of a possible Copa America 2013 in Mexico. On top of that, they will have the highest confederation weighting after the World Cup.


  1. Amusing to look at this far out. But there's no way that FIFA will use this same method if two African teams are in the top 8.

    If the rankings don't shift enough by the time the Cup comes around, they'll adjust things again. And, lo and behold, the seeds will "look right."

  2. Edgar thanks for telling me the points the U.S. would have if the Mail Muslim ref did not rig the U.S. game. Keep in mind FIFA will get the 8 seeds they want. Thus, it might be an excellent idea to get the Excel spreadsheet out and calculate World Cup points on a three event selection, two event selection, and a one event selection. Thus, I think going back to a seeding formula used in 2006 or 2002 could occur. It might be interesting to see who would be in excellent shape if that possibility occurs.

  3. How come New Zealand is so high?

  4. And keep us updated with this ranking list as the months go by please. :)

  5. Yes, I know FIFA could very well change the criteria.

    New Zealand still have the WC playoff win against Bahrain + the win against Serbia + 3 draws at the World Cup and just two defeats.

    I will keep track of this ranking as months go by.

  6. I thought New Zealand's playoff win was outside this current 4 year cycle.

  7. @Samurai Blue: New Zealand's 2nd-leg win over Bahrain was on 14 November 2009, so it will definitely be included, and possibly the 1st-leg draw on 10 October 2009 as well. (Assuming, as Edgar does, that FIFA once again choose to use the October ranking for the seedings.)

  8. How is Italy 39th? They fielded senior citizens in 2010, but they arguably have the best young talent in the world right now developing into excellent players. Their defensive replacements rival any back field they have ever fielded. At MF they are just as good as anybody. Lastly, their forwards between Cassano, Balotelli and Macheda, this class of young strikers will be one of if not the best in the world.

  9. I'd like to see FIFA try to normalize the ranking points teams have in play for continental championships. Two ACNs with two qualifying campaigns seems, on the face of it, like it will give an outsized number of points opportunities to CAF teams. While CONCACAF themselves play two Gold Cups in each cycle, the teams that count (USA and Mexico) do not play any qualifying games, so it gets them back on roughly even terms with the UEFA teams that only have one final tournament, but also have a substantial qualifying campaign for it.

  10. @Alex

    Thanks again!

    @Anonymous about Italy

    It's based on results from October 2009 until now. I don't know how to write software that looks at a teams potential players :)


    USA and Mexico could play qualifiers :)

  11. EGYPT IS #1.THEY ARE THE BEST.!!!!!!!GO EGYPT GO!!!!!!!!