Return To Form Sees Greece Rise Ahead Of UEFA Nations’ League
After Greece’s disastrous form following the 2014 FIFA World Cup, specifically the horrendous EURO 2016 Qualifying campaign, there was widespread worry about the team’s drop in the FIFA Rankings.
Indeed, Greece won only three matches from 22 in all competitions (including international friendlies) in 2014 and 2015. This saw the team plummet from a FIFA Ranking of 10th at one point in 2014 to 52nd in the early stages of 2016.
For many, the FIFA Rankings are not important, but Greece’s overall ranking within Europe is extremely important as UEFA’s newest competition, the UEFA Nations’ League, looks set to commence in 2018.
For a refresher on everything you need to know about the UEFA Nations’ League, check out our run-down of the competition.
Greece’s form has steadily improved under Skibbe and that bodes well for the Ethniki’s FIFA Ranking (currently 39th) as well as their country ranking within Europe.
A record of six wins, three losses, and one draw in 2016 now has Greece amongst the top 24 teams in Europe once again. What is the importance of this?
Not a great deal really with regard to the Nations’ League, however the UEFA National Team Coefficient Overview does mean a lot. That involves Greece’s overall ranking in Europe on a national team level and is comprised of performances in the 2014 World Cup Finals/ Qualifiers (20%), EURO 2016 Finals/Qualifiers (40%) and 2018 World Cup Finals/Qualifiers (40%).
The latest of these rankings came out in November 2016 and will be used to seed the EURO 2020 Qualifying Draw. As far as the new Nations’ League it means Greece would be pitted against two of the following teams in Groups 1-4 of League B if the Nations’ League were to begin today including: Netherlands, Russia, Iceland, Hungary, Wales, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden, Slovakia, Austria, Israel, and Slovenia.
Greece is currently 20th out of all European nations in the UEFA National Team Coefficient Overview. Should they remain in the top 24 teams ahead of the UEFA Nations’ League then they will be participants in League B, the second highest league of the competition.