How to Understand FIFA World Cup Standings


The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, drawing crowds from every country and fandom imaginable. Even if you’re not into the sport, there’s something about being able to support your country that’s exciting and rewarding, especially since the games are held once every four years. If you want to be able to follow along with all of the excitement, you need to understand how the FIFA World Cup standings work! Luckily, this article will help explain everything you need to know so you can cheer on your favorite team.

The Draw 

All 32 teams have been placed into four pots based on their world ranking. The first pot includes ranked 1-8, the second contains 9-16, third has 17-24 and fourth is all 25 to 32nd. Pot one will always be in group A, B or C and so forth until you get to pot 4 which will always be in group D, E or F. It’s important that every team from a particular league (UEFA) is kept separate from other teams from that same league. For example Spain and Germany must be in different groups since they are both part of UEFA. It helps keep a balance between how strong certain countries are when it comes down to playing each other.

Group Stage

The 32 teams are divided into eight groups of four. During play in each group, every team plays three times: against two other teams in its group and once against a team in another group. The top two teams advance to round two. Ranking Points: Teams receive points based on their results. Wins earn 3 points; draws 1 point; losses 0 points (ties count as half a win). 

A team’s ranking is determined by total points accumulated over all matches played during that stage. If two or more teams have equal number of points at the end of any stage, their ranking is determined by goal difference for all games played during that stage (goals scored minus goals allowed). If goal difference remains equal after applying this rule, their ranking is determined by total goals scored during that stage.

Knockout Stages

The knockout stages of a soccer tournament refer to any stage after round-robin play that ends with two teams competing for 1st place. One team will advance and one will go home. They are referred to as knockout stages because, in some tournaments, a loss can eliminate you from advancing even if you won more games than your opponent.

 At the end of each knockout round in a single-elimination tournament, all players who have lost their first game are eliminated and do not compete in subsequent rounds. In most tournaments (including soccer), they’re also called single-elimination rounds because they involve only 1 game and if you lose that 1 game, your team is out of contention for taking 1st place.


Every year, fans around the world come together to discuss their favorite sport. Football, or soccer as it’s referred to in many countries, brings people together no matter where they are in the world. One of their main topics of conversation is who will win each championship, and there’s a lot riding on those discussions because a lot of money can be won or lost with just a single team’s performance.