Colombia enjoyed two months at its highest-ever #3 position in the FIFA World Rankings before dropping two spots in the latest edition, released Thursday.
September’s updated FIFA Rankings have the ‘Tricolor’ seeded at #5, behind Spain, Germany, Italy and Argentina.
The Argentines moved up two spots, passing Colombia for the #2 ranking in the world, after a 5-2 explosion in Paraguay Tuesday made them the first team from the South American bracket to qualify for the World Cup. ‘Los Cafeteros’, meanwhile, took a hit in the standings in Montevideo, where they lost 0-2 to an Uruguay side that jumped five points, to #7 overall, despite hovering just inside the qualification zone at fifth place in the South American group.
The FIFA ranking system relies on a complicated point formula that takes into account results, the importance of the matches, and the determined weight of the opposing teams and confederations.
International ranking does carry with it a certain amount of prestige, but members of the Colombian side, including head coach Jose Pekerman, made a point earlier this summer of downplaying the importance of the #3 ranking, and presumably won’t be overly affected by the recent fall from glory. Come World Cup time, of course, rankings mean nothing in the face of actual performance.
Colombia still sits second place in its qualifying group, needing only one point to seal a bid to the Brazil in 2014.
With its first World Cup birth since 1998 within sight, the Colombians would do better to focus on upcoming Qualifiers against Chile and Paraguay, and leave rankings for other people to worry about.