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2000 FIFA World Rankings 2001 2002
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England's FIFA World Rankings 2001
Date 17 Jan 14 Feb

14 Mar

11 Apr 16 May 20 Jun 18 Jul 22 Aug 19 Sep 17 Oct 21 Nov 19 Dec
Rank 17 17 16 14 14 13 14 15 9 9 10 10
Points 657 655 659 677 673 693 682 675 712 716 712 712
Change/Last =0 =0 +1 +2 =0 +1 -1 -1 +6 =0 -1 =0
Change/Year -5 -6 -5 -1 -2 -1 +1 -2 +5 +6 +6 +7

At year's beginning, England remained at their lowest point in the rankings, 17th, since May, 1996, when they placed 24th.  They had dropped into the 20's in 1995 and the first half of 1996 because their failure to qualify for the World Cup 1994 finals and their automatic qualification as hosts for the European Championship 1996 finals meant that for more than two years they played nothing but friendly matches, which are not rated as highly in the FIFA ranking calculations as competitive matches.  This time their drop in the rankings was simply the product of poor results under manager Kevin Keegan.

After Sven-Göran Eriksson took over as head coach in January, England put together five successive wins in the first half of the year and rose four spots in the rankings.  On the strength of their 3-0 home friendly victory against Spain in their first match under Eriksson in February, England rose a spot to 16th in the March ranking, the first time in seven months that they had gained ground.  Victories in their next two World Cup qualifiers, 2-1 at home against Finland and 3-1 away to Albania in March, boosted them to 14th for the April ranking, and, although they did not play in April, they remained 14th in the May ranking.  England's gradual rise continued in the June rankings as they climbed a spot to 13th following their 4-0 victory in the home friendly against Mexico in late May and their 2-0 World Cup qualifying win against Greece in Athens in early June.  The impressive victories in home friendlies and the narrower wins in World Cup 2002 qualifiers were still balanced in the ranking calculations against several disappointing results from 2000, thus precluding a greater improvement in the rankings.

England fell a spot in the July rankings while idle during the summer break as Latin American teams played on in World Cup preliminary competitions and the Copa América final tournament, Mexico jumping ahead to 13th and Colombia drawing even at 14th.  And the 2-0 friendly loss against Holland in August preceded a further single-rung drop to 15th in that month's rankings, as Colombia swept all the way to 6th on the strength of winning the Copa América tournament.  That left England just two spots ahead of their ranking at year's beginning, slender reward for five victories, three of them in World Cup qualifiers, balanced against a single friendly loss.  

Two World Cup qualifying victories in September--the first the remarkable 5-1 trouncing of Germany in Munich and the second the 2-0 win against Albania in Newcastle--sent England soaring to 9th, the first time they had been ranked in the top 10 since the beginning of Kevin Keegan's managerial tenure in April, 1999, when the rankings reflected the team's accomplishments under Keegan's predecessor, Glenn Hoddle.   And they retained that ranking in October after drawing with Greece, 2-2 in Manchester, taking first place in their qualifying group and thereby clinching their spot in the World Cup 2002 final tournament.  

England's last match of the year, a rather disappointing 1-1 draw in a friendly with Sweden at Old Trafford, saw them drop a rung to 10th in the November ranking as Mexico, on the strength of its 3-0 World Cup qualifying victory against Honduras at Estadio Azteca, jumped ahead of them into 9th.  And there England remained in December, just managing to finish in the top 10 of an end-of-year ranking for the fourth time.

 FIFA World Rankings 2001 - Top 30 Countries
Date
Rank
17 Jan 14 Feb

14 Mar

11 Apr 16 May 20 Jun 18 Jul 22 Aug 19 Sep 17 Oct 21 Nov 19 Dec
1 Brazil 821 Brazil 818 Brazil 814 Brazil 807 France 796 France 818 France 810 France 812 France 810 France 816 France 811 France 812
2 Fra 801 Fra 799 Fra 797 Fra 792 Bra 794 Bra 796 Bra 795 Bra 808 Bra 799 Bra 799 Arg 798 Arg 802
3 Arg 771 Arg 769 Arg 771 Arg 770 Arg 763 Arg 771 Arg 764 Arg 783 Arg 794 Arg 796 Bra 797 Bra 793
4 Cze & Ita 742 Ita 740 Por 738 Ita 750 Ita 748 Ita 747 Ita 735 Ita 733 Ita 737 Ita & Por 739 Por 741 Por 741
5 Cze 739 Ita 735 Por 735 Por 732 Por 734 Ger 726 Ger 725 Por 732 Col 736 Col 739
6 Por 738 Por 736 Cze 734 Cze 732 Esp 724 Esp 733 Esp 715 Col 723 Esp 730 Esp 730 Ita 735 Ita 734
7 Esp 734 Esp 732 Esp 727 Esp 725 Cze 722 Cze 726 Por 712 Cze & Esp 716 Col 719 Ned 724 Esp 731 Esp 730
8 Ned 708 Ned 706 Par 703 Ger 714 Ned 715 Ger 720 Par 711 Ned 717 Col 723 Ned 722 Ned 722
9 Yug 707 Yug 705 Ned 702 Par 713 Ger 711 Ned 718 Cze 709 Por 714 England 712 England 716 Mex 713 Mex 714
10 Par 706 Par 704 Yug 701 Ned 709 Par 703 Par 714 Ned 695 Ned 705 Mex 711 Cze 713 England 712 England 712
11 Ger 705 Ger 703 Ger 698 Yug 697 Yug 689 Yug 702 Rom 689 Par 703 Par 710 Mex & Yug 709 Ger 710 Yug 710
12 Mex 691 Mex 688 Mex 684 Rom 688 Rom 683 Rom 696 Yug 688 Mex 702 Ger 708 Yug 709 Ger 707
13 Rom 683 Rom 681 Rom 680 Mex 681 Mex 680 England 693 Mex 687 Yug 691 Yug 705 Par 705 Cze 699 Par 691
14 Nor 675 Nor & Col 673 Nor 670 England 677 England 673 Cro 672 Col & England 682 Rom 687 Cze 704 Ger 695 Par 694 Cze 689
15 Col 671 Col 667 Col 667 Usa 666 Mex 670 England 675 Rom 695 Rom 694 Rom 687 Rom 688
16 Usa 659 Usa 657 England 659 Nor 666 Col 665 Den 665 Usa 672 Usa 670 Cro 674 Cro 685 Swe 676 Swe 676
17 England 657 England 655 Cro 656 Cro 665 Nor 663 Usa 665 Den 670 Cro 666 Swe 673 Den 682 Den 675 Irl & Deb 672
18 Cro 655 Cro 654 Usa 655 Usa 659 Rus 652 Col & Nor 660 Cro 668 Den 663 Den 664 Swe 678 Irl 672
19 Rsa 635 Rsa 633 Rus 639 Swe 645 Cro 650 Swe 659 Swe 661 Usa 660 Usa 670 Cro 671 Cro 668
20 Rus 634 Rus 632 Rsa 631 Rus 642 Den 645 Rus 659 Rus 658 Rus 652 Hon 656 Irl 669 Bel & Usa 666 Bel 666
21 Chi 629 Svk 629 Swe 629 Den 641 Swe 643 Swe 657 Nor 654 Nor 648 Uru & Irl 653 Rus 660 Rus 665
22 Svk 626 Chi 628 Chi 623 Rsa 630 Rsa 634 Irl 641 Tun 647 Tun 646 Nor 658 Rus 664 Uru 664
23 Den 625 Den 624 Svk 620 Pol, Sco & Svk 627 Pol 627 Pol 638 Irl 640 Hon 643 Nor 650 Uru 656 Tur 660 Tur 663
24 Swe 624 Swe 622 Den 619 Sco 624 Rsa 632 Pol 638 Uru 642 Rus 648 Hon 654 Uru 656 Usa 662
25 Sco 612 Sco 610 Ksa 617 Svk 623 Tri 628 Rsa 633 Irl & Pol 638 Tun 645 Tun 643 Nor 654 Svn, Nor & Hon 650
26 Tun 611 Tun 609 Bel 615 Tur 620 Mar 622 Bel 626 Bel 631 Bel 643 Jpn & Svn 633 Hon 650
27 Bel & Mar 610 Bel 608 Tun 612 Bel 619 Irl 617 Ksa 621 Tri 622 Jpn 634 Pol 634 Svn 648
28 Mar 606 Sco 606 Chi 617 Ksa 615 Mar 620 Mar & Ksa 621 Rsa 629 Jpn 633 Pol 632 Tun 647 Tun 648
29 Tri 600 Tri 602 Tur 605 Ksa 616 Tur 614 Tun 617 Mar 624 Crc 630 Crc 630 Irn 640 Irn 642
30 Egy 599 Tur 597 Mar 602 Irl & Mar 611 Bel 612 Svk 616 Uru 620 Bel 622 Rsa 628 Ksa 628 Ksa 632 Crc 635
   
total countries 203 countries 203 countries 203 countries 203 countries 203 countries 203 countries 203 countries 203 countries 203
countries
203 countries 203 countries 203 countries

Notes

FIFA named Honduras its "Team of the Year" with Colombia 2nd and Costa Rica 3rd.  In previous years, this award had gone to the team "topping the final ranking list of the year."  Had that method been followed, France would have won the team of the year title for 2001, breaking the lock Brazil had held on the award since 1994.  But FIFA instituted a new method of determining the team of the year in 2001.  The award "goes to the team that notches up the seven matches of the year reaping the overall highest average number of points during the year."  After every official senior level match, FIFA awards points to the teams based on several factors: the result, the relative strength of the teams, the number of goals scored and conceded, the match's home, away or neutral venue status, the importance of the match and the strength of the teams' region(s). 

Another CONCACAF team, Costa Rica, up 30 places to 30th, were named "Best Mover of the Year" ahead of Australia, up 24 rungs to 48th, and Honduras, up 21 positions to 25th.  As FIFA explained, this award "is not based simply on the biggest jump in the number of points or in the number of places up the ranking ladder.  What also has to be taken into consideration is the fact that it becomes progressively harder for a team to earn points the more it already has.  Thus to decide on the 'Best Mover of the Year' a calculation is performed that multiplies the number of points a team has at the end of the year [x] by the number it has earned during the year [y].  The team with the highest index obtained in this way wins the award."

Further Information

The FIFA website contains the complete world rankings from their inception and a description of the method by which the rankings are calculated.

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