FIFA Rankings & World Cup Seeding (2018 Edition)

Discussion in 'FIFA and Tournaments' started by Rickdog, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. Rickdog

    Rickdog Member+

    Jun 16, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Club:
    CD Colo Colo
    Country:
    Chile
    First of all, I must say that I agree with you in almost everything you say.
    The methodology used by FIFA in its ranking system really sucks.

    But, it is not true that they can't get seeded. If they were smarter, they can perfectly use the system to their benefit, specially by not playing too many friendlies, as they usually do, and only restrict themselves to those continental tournaments strictly of their own Confed, where they got it lots easier for them to get points than whatever it may be like in the stronger Confeds, where the level of the teams is lots higher than whatever it is at their respectful Confed. Basicly by the type of opposition they got at home (where the teams at a better level are very few).
    Whenever they face harder opposition, it's lots likely to get more draws and defeats which will affect their ranking negatively. Besides, even wins against top teams in friendlies, don't add much points to anyones ranking, if your team is at the top 20 and more so, they take points away.
    Particularly, for Mexico playing Copa America, given the opposition they will have, they are not going to get the same amount of wins (which are the matches that give the biggest amount of points) they usually get playing the Gold Cup, so their ranking is not going to increase that much. And very likely that it will actually decrease.
    Most of the times they play it, they lose more points there, than those which they win. To get lots of points there, they must achieve an outstanding performance (almost the same it is for anyone participating, btw), something that hasn't happened in a long time.

    Now if you compare Mexico's reality, to the one of Colombia's for instance. Mexico can get big amounts of points by wining against a team ranked below the 100 mark in its own continental tournament (where there is lots of teams ranked below 100, so their possibility of this to happen is bigger). While Colombia in their respectful continental tournament, never can, as usually there aren't any teams below the 100 mark in Conmebol. For Colombia every point they get at a continental tournament will be harder to achieve it, while for Mexico it will happen lots more often. Now if they want to play against the big boys from Conmebol, they put themselves in the same bag as every other Conmebol team, so they can get bigger amount of points (in case they win or draw), almost in the same proportion of the amount of points they will lose (which even with a good performance at copa America, can happen more frequently than whatever it will be at the Gold Cup). For lesser teams of Concacaf, it may be even worse than that, as it is very likely they will get more defeats, which counts the same as evey defeat at any level, taking points away from those they already have (if they achieve mostly wins, of course their ranking will increase, but it's not likely for that to happen).
     
  2. GunnerJacket

    GunnerJacket Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    Gainesville, GA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    These past few posts must be the most attention given to the FIFA rankings in, like, forever.
     
  3. HomietheClown

    HomietheClown Member+

    Sep 4, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    Since like the Summer of 2014 when it was used to seed the most important tournament in the World. :D
     
  4. dna77054

    dna77054 Member+

    Jun 28, 2003
    houston
    I certainly get your gist. And it may be true. To know for sure we really would need to run the math. IIRC the ranking points calculation includes (among other things) the Confed Multiplier, the importance of the match, and the difference in ranking points of the two teams involved.

    Within Concacaf Mexico is playing with a Confed multiplier of IIRC 0.85, whereas within Conmbol that is a 1. So that works against Mexico. Also the larger difference in the ranking points between Mexico and a Concacaf third tier team also works against them. So Mexico starts with a 15% discount and has a further discount from the difference in points between the two teams. But the games are easier. The question then becomes are the games within Concacaf SO MUCH easier as to make up for those discounts. One would have to take some time and really drill down into the math. Would 80% success in Concacaf be better than 60% in Conmebol? I may eventually try to do some calculations on this, but I am not up to doing it now.

    Come to think of it, EUFA gets the best of both worlds. They get the 1.0 or 0.99 Confed multiplier and half of the teams in each qualifying group are at best Panama, Jamaica level, with a microstate (for example Andorra) as well.

    As for Mexico's Copa record. When sending their A team, they have done fairly well, always advancing, 2 finals, 2 third places, and usually eliminated by either Brazil or Argentina. Lately they have been sending B/youth teams. Concacaf did not let them send their A team in 2011 out of fear of losing their top money maker in the Gold Cup. They sent a U22 in 2011 that went on to win the 2012 Olympics. They sent a B team the last Copa because they prioritized the Gold Cup to get to the Confed Cup. I do not know if Concacaf handcuffed them in 2015 as well. Again admitting to not having done the math, I suspect a top 3 in a Copa would earn more points than the same position in a Gold Cup. A third place Copa may be worth more than a GC win. (Assuming similar records in each)
     
  5. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    It's a Catch-22: if you're in a weak confederation, you need to play rivals from outside federations to prepare for the World Cup, which puts the balance of points against you; but if you only play the weak in-confederation rivals, how can you know if you're following the right path to do well in the World Cup?

    The confederation strength coefficient needs to go, just tweak the ranking so that playing a team 50 spots below you gives you very few points, even if you destroy them.
     
    slaminsams repped this.
  6. Paul Calixte

    Paul Calixte Moderator
    Staff Member

    Orlando City SC
    Apr 30, 2009
    Miami, FL
    Club:
    Orlando City SC
    Country:
    United States
    Or...hear me out on this one, FIFA...it should be applied to the rival, as in another "strength of opponent" multiplier to go along with the opponent's ranking.

    For instance, with my suggestion, Costa Rica and Uruguay would get the same amount of points from beating Italy, but Uruguay would get more from their WCQ wins than Costa Rica would from smacking Guyana around.
     
    slaminsams repped this.
  7. Rickdog

    Rickdog Member+

    Jun 16, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Club:
    CD Colo Colo
    Country:
    Chile
    Exactly on regards to Uefa facing a microstate or "not so powerfull" opponent within the same Confederation. There could be diferences of up to 70 points awarded for each match, if you compare it to Concacaf or CAF or AFC or OFC, when both losing "not so powerful" teams are separated by only one position in the FIFA ranking. The diference, gets established only on the diference of Confed Strength they posses.

    On regards to Conmebol, no one has to worry, as there aren't any "not so powerful" teams here (very unlikely to ever have any team ranked below 100) . So we will almost never get anything like it.

    Only "big" winner here, is Uefa.

    Playing and winning against a microstate team (I prefer to call it a" not so powerful" team) helps those who are ranked near the 50th place mark.
    Higher ranked teams, mostly tend to lose points winning against them, but they still have a reducing effect on other lost matches in the year time period.
    For very high ranked teams (top 20) though, these not so powerful teams should be avoided, as they tend to reduce points together with a low reducing effect on lost matches (reasons is that a high ranked team, through out a year, doesn't lose much games, so they don't need the reducing effect that these wins against lesser teams provide)
     
  8. Rickdog

    Rickdog Member+

    Jun 16, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Club:
    CD Colo Colo
    Country:
    Chile
    #8 Rickdog, Feb 15, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
    Well, both Belgium and Switzerland got seeded last WC, only by avoiding playing friendlies the year prior to the date the WC draw took place. In their case, Confed strength didn't affect them.
    On the other hand, the Netherlands, for instance lost its seeded position only due to playing a couple of meaningless friendly matches, against not so powerful Asian teams, against which they won.
     
  9. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    But they're not in a weak confederation.

    In a weak confederation, you MUST play against rivals from stronger confederations to have an idea where you are. It does not apply to NTs in UEFA or C-BOL. There, just playing the Euro or Copa you have a good idea of where you are.
     
  10. Rickdog

    Rickdog Member+

    Jun 16, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Club:
    CD Colo Colo
    Country:
    Chile
    Not really.
    You simply got to be smarter and play those friendlies, when they will not affect much your ranking towards the WC draw. But if you decide to play friendlies all the time, against all sort of opponents, it will most probably affect your ranking when that moment comes. Even if you win against the top teams of the world, friendlies always give very low amount of points to the average points of each team (more so, if opponent ranking isn't that good)

    The basic clue here (if your team is at top of rankings), is to avoid almost all friendly matches the year the WC draw takes place , as in that last year, points count for 100 % of their value. After the draw, you can play all weeks if you want to experiment with your team or if you want to know where it stands, as it will no longer affect your seeding and the draw would be over.
     
  11. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    That's far too close to just cramming for exams. A way to rig the system, not to improve your national team.

    Why be forced to play the number games, when better ranking systems can be devised? As is, the Elo ratings are already better.
     
  12. Rickdog

    Rickdog Member+

    Jun 16, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Club:
    CD Colo Colo
    Country:
    Chile
    #12 Rickdog, Feb 15, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
    Sure, but definitively helps to get a better draw, by not having to face at group phase a top opponent.
    Both Belgium and Switzerland, with their play, got lots easier groups by doing that, than what many of other more reputated teams. You can say they rigged the system, but at the end it worked fine for them.
    You can ask to the dutch what was their feeling, when they knew that despite playing the final match against Spain the WC before, their first match of the next WC was going to be against Spain, again, while at the same time, Belgium whom didn't even play the WC before, got Russia (whom also didn't play the WC before) as their strongest opponent, just by the fact they got seeded over their ranking, while the dutch team, didn't get the seed due to it.
    Yeah,........ and also think what they both (Spain and Netherlands) thought, when they also knew that besides them, they both were going to also face the top contender of the 3rd pot (Chile), as well. Right after the WC draw took place, I can give you absolute certainty that there was lots of long faces, after it, while belgians and the swiss couldn't contain themselves of happiness, cause at that point they both got 2 of the 4 lowest ranked 2nd pot teams, together with some average qualified teams, from other Confeds, making their groups, probably among the easiest groups of the whole WC.

    I understand your point, but the problem relies in FIFA, whom will only consider "their" ranking system as the only one which counts.
    It's a drag, but everyone knows it in advance, so almost everyone will be much more careful next time, in order that it doesn't happen to them.
     
  13. almango

    almango Member+

    Sydney FC
    Australia
    Nov 29, 2004
    Bulli, Australia
    Club:
    Sydney FC
    Country:
    Australia
    I don't think the Dutch were more disappointed than we were with the draw. We knew our team from 2006 and 2010 had done their time and we were rebuilding so didn't expect to do much, maybe get a point or even a win against someone if the draw was good. I don't think we could have got a harder draw than we did. On the plus side, we were expected to lose easily in all three games, so you may as well do your best to try to frighten the teams a bit. By showing a bit of fight against Netherlands and also in the last 3/4 of the game against Chile at least we got more notice for our three losses than other teams who parked the bus against weaker teams than we played and went home with a point or two.
     
  14. Rickdog

    Rickdog Member+

    Jun 16, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Club:
    CD Colo Colo
    Country:
    Chile
    What's more decisive is that Uruguay didn't make it to the Olympics, so for Suarez this could be the only summer tournament where he could take part in, defending his home team, an issue that for Suarez is his most biggest pride in life. He simply loves playing for his glorious light blue t-shirt, more than anything else in this world.
    Very likely he will go, with or without Barcelona's permission to be there. He'll try to go even if he were injured....., the same way as he did for the 2014 WC. :cool:
     
  15. Rickdog

    Rickdog Member+

    Jun 16, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Club:
    CD Colo Colo
    Country:
    Chile
    #15 Rickdog, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
    Sorry man, but in that group, you guys really had no chance. To tell you the truth, despite being very confident on what my team could do, I was pretty worried myself too. And as a side issue, we knew that if we made it out of there alive, it was very likely that afterwards, we were going to face, the same "beast" that always sends us home at WC's, which like before happened again (with 2014 included, we count 4 confrontations at the knock outs against Brazil, which is every time we've made it through, past group phase in our WC history, although in one of them, was at semi's).o_O

    Back to your case, it was lots easier to simply throw you guys, all naked, tied and soaked with bar-b-q sauce, to the lions, against whom you would probably have had more chances to come out of it alive, than the ones you got at this WC. :p
    And what was really unfortunate, is that you guys still had a pretty decent team, which by then was the second time in a row, that they put you guys in a very tough group at the WC (because at 2010, it was almost as hard as this one).:thumbsdown:

    Sincerilly, I hope you guys get more luck next time.
     
  16. GunnerJacket

    GunnerJacket Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    Gainesville, GA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    How about this: Just do away with the rankings. They're clumsy and imperfect in any form and ultimately not necessary.

    The only function is to seed the World Cup, but, really, why bother? The groups are mostly, and should be, mixed based on confederations, anyway. If you wish to assign some seedings based on performances in qualifying that's fine, as at least that's based on current results. Otherwise the whole concept exists purely to create something out of nothing, an item for news fodder and to create fan reaction. It's pointless.
     
  17. Rickdog

    Rickdog Member+

    Jun 16, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Club:
    CD Colo Colo
    Country:
    Chile
    Problem is, that the whole FIFA ranking system, is sponsored heavily by a soft drink that pours a lot of money into it, to keep it going . Not that simple to erradicate.

    It's more feasible to do amendments to it, which unfortunately take lots of time to be done.
     
    Paul Calixte repped this.
  18. Datderfranny

    Datderfranny Member

    Apr 1, 2015
    Detroit, MI
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    United States
    Why should it? Just use the ELO rankings, and pay them some money for the rights and slap the Coca Cola Moniker on them. They aren't perfect, either, but theyre not a complete travesty, like FIFAs methodology.
     
    dna77054 and Pipiolo repped this.
  19. faiyez

    faiyez Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    Costa Rica
    Club:
    LD Alajuelense
    Country:
    Japan
    They should buy Pepsi out, while they're at it.
     
  20. GunnerJacket

    GunnerJacket Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    Gainesville, GA
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that FIFA can afford to do without this comparable pittance. I know why they won't do that, but it's not a prohibitive factor.
     
  21. Rickdog

    Rickdog Member+

    Jun 16, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Club:
    CD Colo Colo
    Country:
    Chile
    #21 Rickdog, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
    FIFA's ranking system is based on the ELO rankings, only that they have taken away some parts of it, that FIFA considers more to be presumption, the same way as they believe that at mens football, home advantage isn't so meaningful to make it a part of their system, as ELO does. Btw, womens FIFA ranking is lots closer to the ELO rankings, as in their case some of the variables not considered for mens, remain.

    I believe FIFA prefers to keep the Confed strength factor (something not used by ELO, which was created by FIFA), only to keep the "status quo" they created in order to somehow favour some of the teams of those Confeds, where most of the bigger and most important teams are. At the end what FIFA prefers is to keep some teams high in the rankings, because they bring lots of money with them, to the whole organization.

    The other flawed issue about ELO, is that they base each rise and each decrease of ratings on the points each team had the previous month (it is based completely on a trade of points between opponents), where points never caducate. So if a team at certain moment reaches, say the 10th position, if they don't play any match in 10 or 30 years, after that time they will still be close to the 10th position, as the only way to lose points, they must lose matches against other opponents. An issue that brings with it another flaw : the longer you've been in the system, the higher rating your team will have.

    I prefer ELO, but to tell you the truth, if FIFA did some very few, but meaningful changes to their current ranking system, I would prefer theirs instead.
     
  22. waitforit

    waitforit Member+

    Dec 3, 2010
    Valcea
    Club:
    FC Steaua Bucuresti
    Country:
    Romania
    They do not matter. Confederation strenght is irrelevant when it matters most: the pots for the WC within confederations... well except CONMEBOL.
    As for the world cup they only give the pot 1 teams .... kinda because no matter who is there the rule of 1 team per confed (except UEFA -2) still apllies. The rest of the pots are geographical anyway
     
  23. Datderfranny

    Datderfranny Member

    Apr 1, 2015
    Detroit, MI
    Club:
    --other--
    Country:
    United States
    FIFA and ELO aren't very close. The only problem with ELO is that it doesnt matter how many games you play in a certain year. to some extent this also is an advantage however, because different federations play different amounts of games in a different year.

    FIFAs ratings are garbage. It is virtually impossible for a "rest of the world" team to get a seeded position, even if they won every game they played between cycles because of the confederation modifier. It is also inherantly skewed towards UEFA teamsbecause of the friendly modifier, since they play less friendlies than pretty much any federationbecause just about every year around the calander, they play officially recognized games, between world cup, euro qualifying, euro, and world cup qualifying. There is also no modifier for goal differential, which is pretty dumb.

    Also, since the points arent fixed, they can thoretically keep accumulating, so over time in theory, the disparity in ranking methodolgy between a concacaf team and a UEFA team will keep getting greater.
     
  24. Rickdog

    Rickdog Member+

    Jun 16, 2010
    Santiago, Chile
    Club:
    CD Colo Colo
    Country:
    Chile
    #24 Rickdog, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
    Without that Confed strength factor, Romania would be about 15 places lower in the rankings, which is really where they should be (it would be close the 30th position, very close to where ELO has them at current times). That's because in the latest times, they haven't beaten almost no one.

    But as there is a Confed strength factor in place, they get awarded very big points by simply getting draws against other average teams at the Euro qualifiers, putting them artificially at the 16th place, lots higher than Mexico whom WON the recent Gold cup and about 50 places higher than Australia, whom won the Asian Cup last year. If we also consider that they didn't even make it to last WC, (actually haven't made it there, since the days of Hagi, back in the early 90's), it is evidently an artificial placing.

    Exactly,
    All that FIFA should do is to eliminate Confed strenth factor, which is the biggest lie of the system.

    The other issue is to make a more proportional diference between the level of the matches involved. With the current diference, an Uefa team gets more points by beating San Marino (currently ranked 198) at an Euro qualifier, than those they would get by beating a team ranked at about the 70th place in a friendly match. It's simply too much of a diference.
     
  25. waitforit

    waitforit Member+

    Dec 3, 2010
    Valcea
    Club:
    FC Steaua Bucuresti
    Country:
    Romania
    I am sure Mexico and Australia would win the Euro just as easily
    Also again how does it matter? Australia would be still pot 1 in AFC even if they were 100 places behind my country
     

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