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England somehow ranked ahead of Brazil by FIFA

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In case you were somehow duped into believing that the official FIFA world rankings held any semblance of meaning or value at all, this should clear things up for you. In this totally real and not photoshopped screenshot of the latest FIFA rankings, that's England sitting fourth. Ahead of Brazil.

You better take something for your developing migraine before reading this attempt at an explanation from the Guardian:

The rankings, based on the results of all international "A" matches, rate England as the fourth best team in the world, up two places, and behind only Spain, Holland and Germany.

The system was revised in 2005 in an attempt to improve its accuracy, taking into account the last four years of results, with allowances made for the importance of the matches and the strength of the opponents. Fifa said the aim was to combine "transparency and simplicity" with "the reality of world football".

England's last three results were draws against Switzerland and Ghana, and a win over Wales, who the rankings rate as joint 114th in the world, along with the Faroe Islands. my ears are bleeding. So how could those three result help England hop over Brazil, who most recently won a friendly against Romania and had a scoreless draw against second ranked Netherlands? Well, the fact that England two of England's matches were Euro 2012 qualifiers helped since continental cup qualifiers are worth 2.5 times more than friendlies in the rankings system (that weighting system explains Mexico's jump into the top 10, too).

Still, if four years of results are accounted for, you would think that the team that won the last Copa America and finished sixth in the 2010 World Cup would still be ranked far better than a team that didn't even qualify for Euro 2008 and crashed out in the round of 16 in South Africa. Between this and London being awarded hosting duties for the 2013 Champions League final after they just hosted it last month, either England has finally started giving football officials competitive bribes or the News of the World has photos of Sepp Blatter with that hooker Peter Crouch was with.

Regardless of all that, Fabio Capello sez...


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"Whatever. I'll take it."

Photo: Getty

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