FIFA released its world rankings for the month of August today, and to my surprise, Croatia is now ranked 5th! They have jumped South American powerhouses Brazil and Argentina who respectfully fell to 6th and 7th.
But I don’t want you to think that my head’s getting big. FIFA rankings are like a good looking married woman; they’re fun to look at but there’s not much you can do with them. The real fans know where teams should be ranked and FIFA usually gets that right within 5 spots or so. But in this edition there are definitely some abnormalities.
Scotland at #16. Sure they beat a (poor) France team twice in qualifying but the only thing they’ve qualified for lately is the annual Scotchtoberfest (Simpsons reference) festival. Sweden is getting snubbed at #26 as they are now the new Spain- great qualifying campaigns but never go deep in tournaments. Northern Ireland at 32. What a joke. England should just let the 6 counties free so the North can be horrible alongside Ireland in one big ‘Emerald Isle’ qualifying campaign.
Well enough of me on foreign policy and overrated soccer teams.
The only thing I pull away from the latest rankings concerning Croatia is that we’re back on the map as a global threat. Sure Croatians have known this about this particular team for quite some time, but now I believe the whole world will know it. The England encounters will have a different mindset for both teams. With the addition of Dario Cvitanić and the comeback of Eduardo, Croatia will be a scary team to face- especially after that loss to Turkey in Euro. This is one hungry team that I would not want to face in their prime.
Not as if it FIFA rankings ever mattered….
‘sportske novosti’ has reported that Croatia has never been ranked higher than Brazil since the innagural FIFA rankings in 1993, when Croatia was ranked 117.
Croatia ranked 117, less than 15 years ago!