Australia (48) ended the year as top ranked Oceania Football Confederation nation in the FIFA/ Coca-Cola World Rankings 72 places ahead of its nearest confedration challenger New Zealand (120=). Fiji (135) lie a further fifteen places back, with the Solomon Islands (140), Tahiti (141=), and Vanuatu (146) nipping at their heels to be the highest ranked Pacific Island nation.

Papua New Guinea (166) heads the developing OFC nations, ahead of Samoa (182), Tonga (185), New Caledonia (187), Cook Islands (194), and American Samoa (205) who remain in the bottom spot.

With twelve matches in the last 12 months, it is little wonder that the Socceroos head OFC nations, the only other national teams in action in 2005 were New Zealand (1 match), the Solomon Islands and Fiji (2 matches), again highlighting the absence of competitive matches.

Trinidad and Tobago were the most active team in 2005, contesting 28 matches. To date, a total of 743 matches have been played in 2005, which by FIFA standards means 2005 was rather ‘quiet’ in comparison to previous years. Almost half of the matches played were part of the preliminary competition for the 2006 FIFA World Cup GermanyTM (352).

And for the fourth year in a row, Brazil claimed the Top Team title after finishing the year at the top of the table, a position they resiliently held on to for the entire year.

Ghana eventually won the race for the Best Mover title, shaking off competition from Ethiopia and Togo, while Ethiopia stood out when it came to improving ranking position, climbing 39 places in 2005 to reach rank 112, with Togo (56) and Scotland (60) also gaining more than 25 ranking positions.

The next FIFA/ Coca-Cola World Ranking list will be published on 18 January 2006.

FIFA/ Coca-Cola World Rankings (ranking at November 2005)

1. Brazil (1)

2. Czech Rep. (2)

3. Netherlands (3)

4. Argentina (4)

5= Mexico (7)

5= Spain (6)

5= France (5)

8. USA (8)

9. England (9)

10. Portugal (10)

48. Australia (49)

120= New Zealand (118)

135. Fiji (136)

140. Solomon Islands (138)

141= Tahiti (140)

146. Vanuatu (148)

166. Papua New Guinea (164)

182. Samoa (180)

185. Tonga (184)

187. New Caledonia (185)

194. Cook Islands (194)

205. American Samoa (205)

The Ranking System

The FIFA/ Coca-Cola World Ranking evaluates all matches played by senior national teams (World Cup finals matches, World Cup premliminary matches, Confederation championship matches, Confederation championship preliminary matches, friendly matches).

The calculation of a team’s points is based on the following six criteria;

1. Winning, drawing, and losing

2. Number of goals

3. Home or away match

4. Importance of match (multiplication factor)

5. Strength of the opponent

6. Regional strength (multiplication factor)