Strongest football nations by Elo Ratings

Strongest football nations by Elo Ratings

The following is a list of national football teams ranked by their average Elo score from January 1, 1970 to July 1, 2010. The averages are calculated from the scores on the World Football Elo Ratings web site. As the Elo scores reflect the previous successes of a team, the list probably displays the relative strengths of national teams since the mid to late 1960s. Before this time intercontinental play was fairly limited and many nations in Africa, North America, and Asia had played too few games yet to create a representative Elo score. Strong “short-lived” or young countries like East Germany and Croatia will not appear in this list, but can in the tables below showing the top teams per decade.

Rank Country Average Elo rating
1 Brazil 2008.1
2 Germany[1] 1970.3
3 Italy 1929.1
4 England 1923.5
5 Netherlands 1915.5
6 Argentina 1897.4
7 Spain 1891.3
8 France 1887.8
9 Soviet Union[2] 1856.2
10 Czechoslovakia[3] 1842.8
11 Yugoslavia[4] 1828.0
12 Portugal 1811.9
13 Sweden 1796.6
14 Romania 1789.8
15 Poland 1784.0
16 Mexico 1768.9
17 Belgium 1768.0
18 Uruguay 1761.1
19 Denmark 1758.8
20 Scotland 1747.5
21 Paraguay 1725.9
22 Republic of Ireland 1720.5
23 Bulgaria 1715.3
24 Chile 1703.4
25 Austria 1699.2
Rank Country Average Elo rating
26 Hungary 1690.3
27 Australia 1689.8
28 Switzerland 1679.4
29 Iran 1674.3
30 Colombia 1670.1
31 Wales 1662.7
32 Korea Republic 1658.3
33 Morocco 1653.1
34 Nigeria 1650.4
35 Greece 1646.1
36 Egypt 1645.6
37 Israel 1644.6
38 Cameroon 1639.7
39 Peru 1639.7
40 Norway 1630.9
41 Turkey 1627.1
42 Northern Ireland 1623.9
43 Côte d’Ivoire 1621.9
44 Tunisia 1604.3
45 Ghana 1601.1
46 Iraq 1599.1
47 Costa Rica 1590.1
48 United States 1589.4
49 Algeria 1573.7
50 Japan 1572.7

Strongest teams per decade

The table below shows the teams with the best average Elo score per decade (Jan 1 19X0 – Dec 31 19X9). Again, because the scores reflect past achievements, the averages are representative of the teams’ strengths for a decade starting and ending sometimes a few years earlier.

Rank 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s
1 1936 England 1911 Uruguay 1976 Argentina 2036 Argentina 2025 Argentina
2 1899 Denmark 1873 Spain 1970 Italy 2018 Italy 1996 Brazil
3 1879 Netherlands 1859 Argentina 1899 Uruguay 1892 England 1994 Hungary
4 1800 Argentina 1843 Scotland 1868 Spain 1876 Brazil 1917 England
5 1772 Scotland 1820 Czechoslovakia 1866 England 1858 Spain 1870 Germany
6 1755 Uruguay 1795 Denmark 1859 Austria 1852 Uruguay 1856 Uruguay
7 1754 Hungary 1771 Brazil 1841 Scotland 1841 Scotland 1853 Italy
8 1737 Belgium 1768 England 1814 Czechoslovakia 1832 Germany 1850 Yugoslavia
9 1659 Sweden 1761 Hungary 1810 Brazil 1814 Hungary 1817 Austria
10 1652 Austria 1760 Austria 1785 Hungary 1768 Czechoslovakia 1815 Spain
11 1603 Germany 1739 Netherlands 1759 Germany 1764 Austria 1799 Paraguay
12 1574 France 1712 Sweden 1685 Denmark 1746 Wales 1796 Sweden
13 1734 Sweden 1790 Scotland
14 1753 France
15 1728 Peru
Rank 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
1 1962 Brazil 2059 Brazil 1974 Brazil 1998 Brazil 1998 Brazil
2 1928 England 2040 West Germany 1964 West Germany 1989 Germany 1984 France
3 1923 Hungary 1948 England 1951 Soviet Union 1953 Italy 1966 Netherlands
4 1923 Argentina 1933 Italy 1927 England 1929 France 1964 Argentina
5 1917 Soviet Union 1888 Netherlands 1897 Argentina 1920 Netherlands 1955 Spain
6 1887 West Germany 1883 Poland 1889 Italy 1904 Spain 1941 Italy
7 1867 Czechoslovakia 1877 Soviet Union 1886 France 1902 Yugoslavia 1916 England
8 1852 Italy 1868 East Germany 1884 Netherlands 1902 England 1891 Germany
9 1843 Spain 1861 Argentina 1847 Spain 1869 Denmark 1886 Portugal
10 1840 Uruguay 1851 Spain 1840 Poland 1868 Argentina 1872 Czech Republic
11 1811 Yugoslavia 1838 Czechoslovakia 1821 Czechoslovakia 1847 Czech Republic 1838 Croatia
12 1801 Scotland 1831 Hungary 1821 Belgium 1835 Sweden 1824 Mexico
13 1796 Sweden 1830 Yugoslavia 1819 Yugoslavia 1828 Croatia 1821 Denmark
14 1783 Mexico 1808 Scotland 1818 East Germany 1826 Russia 1807 Sweden
15 1740 Austria 1802 Portugal 1785 Uruguay 1825 Mexico 1800 Romania
16 1735 Algeria 1792 Belgium 1784 Romania 1813 Romania 1789 United States
17 1732 Bulgaria 1770 Sweden 1784 Scotland 1811 Portugal 1786 Republic of Ireland
18 1731 Chile 1766 Austria 1776 Sweden 1783 Colombia 1786 Turkey
19 1725 Portugal 1765 Romania 1774 Austria 1777 Republic of Ireland 1782 Uruguay
20 1722 France 1755 France 1774 Denmark 1773 Norway 1773 Australia
1773 Russia
  1. ^ Representing West Germany from 1949-1990
  2. ^ Combined record of the USSR (1970-1992), the CIS (1992), and Russia (1992-present)
  3. ^ Combined record of Czechoslovakia national football team (1970-1992) and the Czech Republic (1993-present)
  4. ^ Combined record of Yugoslavia (1970-1992) and Serbia (1994-present)

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