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Friday, August 12, 2011

FIFA Ranking: Netherlands dethrone Spain

With some help from Italy and the London riots, Netherlands finally claimed the top spot in the FIFA ranking (see the August FIFA ranking final preview).

Why did the London riots help the Netherlands? For top teams, friendlies will bring their average points down. Before the cancelation, I wrote:

"If Spain lose against Italy and Netherlands defeat England, Netherlands will overtake Spain. If Spain manage a draw and Netherlands get the 3 points, they will be tied for 1st place with 1581 points."

However, with the England friendly canceled, Netherlands' total rose to 1596 points - and they only needed Italy to hold Spain to a draw.

These are Netherlands' top 10 matches (point-wise):

126 - 12/Oct/2010 Netherlands - Sweden 4 - 1 (2012 ECQ)
123 - 25/Mar/2011 Hungary - Netherlands 0 - 4 (2012 ECQ)
123 - 29/Mar/2011 Netherlands - Hungary 5 - 3 (2012 ECQ)
111.75 - 07/Sep/2010 Netherlands - Finland 2 - 1 (2012 ECQ)
90 - 08/Oct/2010 Moldova - Netherlands 0 - 1 (2012 ECQ)
69.88 - 02/Jul/2010 Netherlands - Brazil 2 - 1 (2010 WC)
64.29 - 06/Jul/2010 Uruguay - Netherlands 2 - 3 (2010 WC)
59.09 - 24/Jun/2010 Cameroon - Netherlands 1 - 2 (2010 WC)
58.59 - 28/Jun/2010 Netherlands - Slovakia 2 - 1 (2010 WC)
57.88 - 14/Jun/2010 Netherlands - Denmark 2 - 0 (2010 WC)

These 10 matches are worth 883.49 points - more than 55% of Netherlands' 1596 points.

P.S. I do know I'm not the only one computing the ranking - but if you're a journalist and use info from my blog, please mention the source.

About me:

Christian, husband, father x 3, programmer, Romanian. Started the blog in March 2007. Quit in April 2018. You can find me on LinkedIn.


  1. What about these friendly matches?

    04/06/2011 Brazil 0:0 Netherlands
    08/06/2011 Uruguay 1:1 (0:0) 4:3 PSO Netherlands


  2. The one against Brazil is worth 19.7 points, while Uruguay 19.3. 26th and 27th most valuable results.

  3. "We are the best"

  4. How does a qualifier win against Moldova add up to more points than an end stage victory against Brazil?

  5. Spain we beat you at the next european championchip

  6. Holland Rules - Wij Zijn de besten !!

  7. The win against Moldova is worth more because it took place during the last 12 months, while the win against Brazil gets a lower weighting as it took place in the 12-24 months time frame.

  8. The reaction to the next FIFA rankings is going to be a fun one with Netherlands 1st and England back to 4th.

  9. Interesting fact:

    Of the 7 countries that have become the nr. 1 in the World rankings, Holland is the only country never to have won a world title. The 6 other countries (Germany, Brazil, Italy, France, Argentina and Spain) have gained one or more world titles.

    By the way: Uruguay is the only former World champ never to have been on 1st place.

  10. @Tobcoach, what about England? Did they ever had the first place, they where world champion in 1966, so Uruguay is not the only former world champion that never have been on 1st place.


  11. @ N.D.: I feel so stupid, I completely forgot England!! The World Champions of 1966 haven't managed to become nr. 1, yet.

    So Uruguay is in good company with the English.

    Sorry about my mistake, don't be too harsh on me today, it's my birthday...

  12. we should have won the wordtitle 2010 instead of being no. 1 now. who cares about this ranking?! titles count ranking not!

  13. It's great to be number one in the rankings for such a small country as the Netherlands.17 million ppl vs all those giant nations three times the size or more.I would rather have won the world cup though. :/

  14. de meeste nederlanders spelen in het buitenland

  15. Obviously it is better to win the World Cup than to lead the FIFA world rankings. No one will disagree. Having said that, it is a great achievement by a small country and the Dutch should be proud of their football culture instead of constantly slagging off their national league or criticizing the quality of their youth development programs. It can not be that bad, can it? With one exception they have managed to get through the group stage of each big tournament for over 20 years now.

  16. Holland is a small country, but a very big football country.
    Holland has no World Cup wins, but were really really close 3 times.
    In 74 there is no doubt Holland was the best country in the world cup, and should have won the cup.
    In 78 Holland hit the post after a fine attack in exta time of the game, could/should have won the world cup.
    In 2010 Holland had two major oppertunities to score, and could have won the world cup.

    Not to mention the top players Holland produces in every generation.
    So Holland is a small country, but proved to be a major football force in a over 50 years already.

  17. Gruyff...European player of the CENTURY.

  18. @Tobcoach

    Belated happy birthday! :)

  19. Holland is by far the smallest nation that have participated in three WC finals. That's just unbelieveble from such small country like Holland.

  20. @anonymous
    not that small when looking at the population, instead of area. which counts for more.