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FIFA World Rankings and Their Leaders

The FIFA World Ranking is a ranking method for men’s national teams in association football, presently dominated by Germany. The teams of the member nations of FIFA, football’s worldwide governing body, are ranked according to their game results with the most flourishing teams being ranked highest.

The system was launched in December 1992, and eight teams, including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, have controlled the top spot, of which Brazil have spent longest ranked at # 1. When the system started, Germany d?buted as the number one team following their lengthy period of superiority in which they had reached the three previous FIFA World Cup finals, being victorious in one of them.

Brazil led in the run up to the 1994 FIFA World Cup after eight victories and one loss out of nine qualification matches, while scoring along the way twenty goals and yielding but four. Italy then took over for a brief time on the back of their own equally victorious World Cup qualifying campaign, after which Germany reclaimed the top spot.
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Brazil’s victory in their extended qualifying campaign brought them back to the lead for a quick period. Germany again dominated during the 1994 World Cup, until Brazil’s triumph in that competition offered them a considerable lead that would carry on for almost seven years, until they were overcome by an astounding French team that won the 1998 FIFA World Cup as well as the 2000 European Football Championship.
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After success at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Brazil regained the top position, where they thrived until February 2007, when Italy reclaimed the top for the first time since 1993 after their 2006 FIFA World Cup victory in Germany. Merely a month later, Argentina replaced them, attaining the top spot for the first time, but Italy recouped its position in April. Following their win at the Copa Am?rica 2007 in July, Brazil regained control of the top spot, but was overpowered by Italy in September and Argentina in October.

In July 2008, Spain became number one for the first time, following its UEFA Euro victory in 2008. Brazil rallied for a sixth stint on top in July 2009 after it won the 2009 Confederations Cup, and Spain got the title back in November 2009 after it won all of its 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification matches.

In April 2010, Brazil again soared back to the top. After its 2010 World Cup victory, Spain regained the number one position and kept it until August 2011, when The Netherlands reached the top for the very first time, only to relinquish it the next month. In July 2014, Germany grabbed the lead once again, having conquered the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

In July 2015, Argentina became number one again for the first time since 2008, after reaching the finals of both the 2014 FIFA World Cup the 2015 Copa America . In November 2015, after ruling their Euro 2016 qualifying group, Belgium became the FIFA ranking leader for the first time until Argentina returned to the top in April 2016. 1 spot on April 6, 2017, the first time since right before the 2010 World Cup, but Germany took it away in July after it won the Confederations Cup.