Determining the best football teams in the world is an arduous, arguably impossible task. That doesn't stop FIFA from having a go.

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The world rankings are always a contentious source of debate with the system based on results, opposition strength and competitions competed in, among other variables.

FIFA assign ranking points to each nation via the wonderfully inexplicable formula 'P = Pbefore + I * (W – We)'. We could try and explain each aspect of the calculation, but we'd rather spend time assessing the fruits of FIFA's labour instead. (Check out the official guide for FIFA ranking points calculations if you've got no plans this evening.)

Read more - Who will win the World Cup? Every team ranked | World Cup predictions: Winners, dark horses, flops, top scorer

Neither the last World Cup, European Championships, Copa America nor any other reigning confederation championships winner sits at the top of the pile, though many fancy the No.1 ranked team to go all the way in Qatar.

RadioTimes.com rounds up the highest-ranked teams in the World Cup based on FIFA World Rankings ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

For more World Cup features check out: World Cup 2022 TV schedule | World Cup 2022 kits ranked | World Cup 2022 stadiums | Best players at the World Cup

World Cup 2022 best teams

5. England

The Three Lions ride into Qatar in an odd position. This is the best chance England have of winning a World Cup in a generation though spirits have been dampened by their worst run of form since 1992.

England proved their credentials among the elite teams in world football by reaching the 2018 semi-finals and Euro 2020 final, but followed up their Wembley defeat with an abysmal Nations League campaign that ended in relegation.

Harry Kane is the star man, but whatever perceived holes there are in England's squad this time around, the continued emergence of Jude Bellingham sees England enter this one with an XI that really could go the distance.

4. France

Reigning champions France were top of the tree following their glorious victory and prior triumph at Euro 2016.

However, they took a tumble after being dispatched by Switzerland in the Round of 16 of Euro 2020. The game ended 3-3 following a crazy 120 minutes of action, nine players scored their penalty before Kylian Mbappé missed to break French hearts.

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Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema is back in the fold following years in the wilderness and he will seek to put France back on the right track as they seek to defend their title.

3. Argentina

Many people's favourites, Argentina head into their last World Cup with Lionel Messi.

The 35-year-old may even call it a day for Argentina after this tournament, made even more likely should they go all the way. Messi finally lifted a trophy with his nation last year after winning the Copa America.

Argentina were also buoyed by their recent 3-0 thumping of Italy in the Finalissima this summer. Their credentials continue to solidify with fewer superstar names in the mix but a more cohesive system underpinning those who remain in the squad.

2. Belgium

The shock entrants on this list: Belgium. They have continued to ride high in the rankings by sustained decent performances in major tournaments without actually winning any.

The Belgians – buoyed by a fading golden age of superstar names – have reached the quarter-finals in each of their last four major tournaments, including finishing third at the 2018 World Cup.

Roberto Martinez could be criticised for not going further with his elite squad, many of whom have retired or sit on the cliff edge of their careers. A poor showing at Qatar may see Belgium dissolve from the scene at the top.

1. Brazil

The Samba Boys are top of the charts heading into the 2022 World Cup after dislodging Belgium in March this year.

They won the Copa America in 2019 but haven't lifted the World Cup since Cafu did the honours in 2002. They have failed to even reach a semi-final since then.

Neymar is backed up by an incredible supporting cast this year, though one ominous sign looms over their campaign. The top-ranked team going into the World Cup has never won the tournament.

Every World Cup team's FIFA ranking

1. Brazil
2. Belgium
3. Argentina
4. France
5. England
7. Spain
8. Netherlands
9. Portugal
10. Denmark
11. Germany
12. Croatia
13. Mexico
14. Uruguay
15. Switzerland
16. USA
18. Senegal
19. Wales
20. Iran
21. Serbia
22. Morocco
24. Japan
26. Poland
28. South Korea
30. Tunisia
31. Costa Rica
38. Australia
41. Canada
43. Cameroon
44. Ecuador
50. Qatar
51. Saudi Arabia
61. Ghana

Check out our World Cup hub for all the latest from Qatar 2022, including match previews, predictions and analysis.

If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our Sport hub.

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