Yes, ranking and seeding are determined by past performance, but I still find it interesting to look at international rankings ability to predict future outcomes. Doing so serves to show just how unbalanced European International football is (as England’s 10-0 win gave us an insight to).
The chart below plots the FIFA ranking of countries prior to the (UEFA) qualification groups being drawn for World Cup 2022 and the points per match countries went on to accumulate.
A countries rank is a good predictor of how many points on average they will go on to accumulate.
Surely UEFA are happy – all the big teams make or are very close to making the finals and a full inventory of international fixtures is delivered with minor qualification shocks.