The world soccer governing body, FIFA, first released world rankings for women's international teams in 2003, with the men’s rankings first appearing in December 1992. The rankings are published four times a year and are weighted to emphasize recent results. The latest release of the world rankings sees the United States national team sit top of the pile with 2,181 points, just ahead of Germany and France in second and third place respectively.
USA on top of the world
The United States women's national soccer team, which played its first game in 1985, is currently considered the best women’s soccer team in the world. They have won a total of four FIFA Women's World Cups, the last time in France in 2019, as well as four Olympic women's gold medals. Such is the success of the US women's national team that they generated game revenue of 50.8 million U.S. dollars since winning the 2015 World Cup, marginally higher than their male counterparts. Alex Morgan, one of the stars of the team, ranked 12th on the list of highest paid female athletes in 2019. The vast majority of this income was generated by Morgan's various endorsements, which includes deals with Nike, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola.
Women's World Cup
The inagural FIFA Women's World Cup took place in China in 1991 and has been held every four years since. The eight editions of the World Cup have been won by four different teams - the United States have claimed the title a record four times, while Germany have been crowned champions twice, and Japan and Norway once each. The popularity of women's soccer in the United States is highligthed in the fact that the 1999 Women's World Cup held in the US remains the tournament with the highest average attendance - an average of 37,319 fans watched each game during that tournament. The local fans got the result they wanted as the hosts beat China on penalties in the final held at the Rose Bowl in California. The most recent World Cup was held in France in 2019 and saw the United States beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the final. Some 14.3 million viewers in the United States tuned into this final, an impressive number considering the unfavorable time difference.
FIFA world ranking of national women's soccer teams as of August 2020
The venue, importance of games, and differences between teams are all taken into account. Additional information on the calculation of this ranking can be found here. This ranking is updated quarterly.
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FIFA. (August 14, 2020). FIFA world ranking of national women's soccer teams as of August 2020 [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved January 27, 2021, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/262863/fifa-world-ranking-of-womens-national-soccer-teams/
FIFA. "FIFA world ranking of national women's soccer teams as of August 2020." Chart. August 14, 2020. Statista. Accessed January 27, 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/262863/fifa-world-ranking-of-womens-national-soccer-teams/
FIFA. (2020). FIFA world ranking of national women's soccer teams as of August 2020. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: January 27, 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/262863/fifa-world-ranking-of-womens-national-soccer-teams/
FIFA. "Fifa World Ranking of National Women's Soccer Teams as of August 2020." Statista, Statista Inc., 14 Aug 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/262863/fifa-world-ranking-of-womens-national-soccer-teams/
FIFA, FIFA world ranking of national women's soccer teams as of August 2020 Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/262863/fifa-world-ranking-of-womens-national-soccer-teams/ (last visited January 27, 2021)