The FIFA Women’s World Rankings for football came into effect in 2003. The first rankings were published on 16 July 2003. They make attempt to analyze and compare the strength of active women’s national football teams. With four titles, the United States (USA) is the most successful Women’s team in world cup history and USA is one of only seven nations to play in every World Cup. Also, have had the most top-four finishes with 8, medals with 8, and made 5 final appearances, including the longest streak of three consecutive finals in 2011, 2015, and 2019.
FIFA Women’s World Rankings are based on every game played by a team since 1971. Initially, the first FIFA-recognized women’s match was played between France and the Netherlands. The rankings are finalized to emphasize recent results. The rankings are only published four times a year. Normally, it is released in March, June, September, and December. Let’s take a look at the top 10 best FIFA women’s teams.
1. The United States
The United States women’s national soccer team is the most successful in women’s soccer. It won four Women’s World Cup titles (1991, 1999, 2015, and 2019), four Olympic gold medals (1996, 2004, 2008, and 2012), and eight CONCACAF Gold Cups. From 1991 to 2015, it won medals in every World Cup and Olympic tournament in women’s soccer. United States Soccer Federation managed the team. Further, the team was mostly ranked No. 2 from 2003 to 2008 in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. Thereafter, the team was ranked No. 1 consistently from March 2008 to November 2014.
This is the longest consistent top ranking of any team. Since FIFA rankings were decided in 2003, the team has been ranked No. 1 for 13 years. Apart from this team, Germany was the only other team to be ranked No. 1. Further, Germany has been holding the position for a total of 4½ years. The team has never been ranked lower than the second position. The team was recognized as the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Team of the Year in 1997 and 1999. Sports Illustrated selected the entire team as 1999 Sportswomen of the Year for its usual Sportsman of the Year honor. Further, U.S. Women’s Soccer and U.S. Soccer reached a contract on a new collective bargaining agreement that would lead to a pay increase on April 5, 2017.
Swedish Football Association managed the Sweden women’s national football team. Further, the team has been considered one of the best womens football team. It won the European Competition for Women’s Football in 1984. The female team also received a World Cup silver (2003), as well as three European Championship silvers (1987, 1995, 2001). Further, the team has played in six Olympic Games, eight World Cups, as well as ten European Championships.
Sweden received bronze medals at the World Cups in 1991, 2011, and 2019. Further, Sweden reached the 2003 world cup final. Earlier, the team reached the final of a FIFA World Cup only in the 1958 FIFA World Cup tournament. In Sweden, it was the second most-watched event in 1958. Lotta Schelin is the highest goalscorer in the history of Sweden scoring 85 goals. Schelin broke Hanna Ljungberg’s 72-goal record against Germany. Caroline Segar is the player with the most caps receiving 229 caps. The Swedish Olympic Committee increases the fund for the women’s team after winning the selection matches for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The new fund was given for the fitness of the team.
The French Football Federation managed the France women’s national football team. The team plays in tournaments such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup and UEFA Women’s Euro. Initially, the France women’s team struggled to qualify for three of the first FIFA Women’s World Cups and the six straight UEFA European Championships. After that, the team’s performance improved and it became one of the most consistent teams in Europe. Further, the team has qualified for their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2003. It has also reached the quarter-finals in two of the three European Championships held since 2000. In 2011, France recorded fourth place at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. In the next year, the team captured the 2012 Cyprus Cup and was featured in fourth place at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
The German Football Association managed the German women’s national football team. The German team is one of the most successful teams in women’s football. Further, they have received the two-time world championship trophy in the 2003 and 2007 tournaments. Germany is the only country to have won both the women’s and men’s tournaments. Further, the team has received eight UEFA European Championships. The team along with the Netherlands is one of the two countries that have won both the women’s and men’s European tournaments.
Germany has received Olympic gold in 2016. The team has also won bronze medals at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in 2000, 2004, and 2008. Birgit Prinz holds the record for playing most matches and is the team’s all-time highest goalscorer. Further, she has received the FIFA World Player of the Year award thrice. Prinz is the joint second top goalscorer at the Women’s World Cup. Further, she is the joint second top goalscorer at the Women’s World Cup.
5. The Netherlands
Netherlands women’s football team is directed by the Royal Dutch Football Association, which is a member of UEFA and FIFA. In 1971, The team played the first match recognized by FIFA against France in 1971. Further, they played in the final match of three UEFA Women’s Championships. The team was also championed in 2017 as hosts. Finally, they entered the final match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time in 2015. The Netherlands reached the final match of the 2019 World Cup.
Canada qualified for the Olympic women’s soccer tournament in 2008. Further, the team won the gold medal at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The team has won two-time Olympic bronze medals. Canada also organized the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Spain has been selected two times for the FIFA Women’s World Cup and three times for the UEFA Women’s Championship and, reached the semifinals in 1997. Further, the youth team has won two titles (U-17 and U-19). They also won the U-17 World Cup trophy and runners-up trophy in the U-20 World Cup.
Initially, England played its first international match in November 1972 against Scotland. England has been selected for the FIFA Women’s World Cup five times. The team also reached the quarter-finals on three occasions; in 1995, 2007, and 2011. They played in the final of the UEFA Women’s Championship in 1984 and 2009.
Brazil’s women’s national football team has played in eight editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. They finished as runner-up in the 2007 FIFA World Cup. Initially, Brazil played their first match on 22 July 1986 against the United States. The team was placed in the third position in the 1999 World Cup and second in the 2007 World Cup. Further, Brazil received the silver medal twice in the Olympic Games, in 2004 and 2008. It is the most successful women’s team in South America. The team was the runner-up in the Women’s U.S. Cup in 1998 and 1999.
10. North Korea
North Korea received the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2001, 2003, and 2008. Further, North Korea always featured in the top ten teams worldwide in the FIFA World Rankings. It currently features in the top ten despite not having played a match for more than two and a half years.
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