These rankings don't carry much (any?) weight
, but make for interesting discussion amongst fans of different countries.
An example of this is that at the time of this writeup, the United States is 15th, while England is 14th. Is the United States really on a par with England? Or better than Russia (18th) or Ukraine (40th)? I would say not (and I'm an American...).
May 16, 2001 rankings are significant in that France overtook Brazil as #1. Brazil had held #1 since 1994. While Brazil has been in decline for years and hardly anyone considers them to be among the top few teams in the world anymore (in fact, they're currently 4th in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, meaning they're 4th in South America), they were still #1 in this questionable computer ranking system.
The rankings are also a further sign of the commercialization of sport. The official name of the rankings is "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking".