Top 10 Nations That Suck at Soccer


Unbeknownst to most, it takes 3 years of qualifying to make the World Cup of soccer.  32 out of 209 nations that participate in the arduous journey make it to the month-long finals.  The hard work is worth it though, as the champions are etched in stone and glorified across the ages. The teams at the bottom though, are quickly forgotten.  Except for here, where we explore ten countries that just plain suck at the global game.

10. Samoa


Current FIFA Ranking: 175

Samoa gained its independence from New Zealand, in 1962. The island nation is known for its rugged sporting traditions, as Samoa participates regularly in the Rugby World Cup, while regularly placing players into American college football programs and the National Football League.  Sadly, it’s a soccer doormat, that have been hovering around the bottom of the world rankings for the past 10 years.

9. Montserrat


Current FIFA Ranking: 176

Montserrat is a beautiful island country in the Caribbean, that has the misfortune of having an active volcano on its land.  The Soufriere Hills Volcano started erupting in 1995, and the island had intermediate seismic activity through the year 2010.  It is hard to field a soccer team when your capital is under 30 feet of mud.  Over the past 15 years, more than half the population has evacuated the country, leaving thousands of refugees overseas.  A perennial cellar-dweller, Montserrat shocked the world earlier this year by beating the British Virgin Island 7-0 and moving all the way up to #176 in the world.  For now.

8. Brunei Darussalam


Current FIFA Ranking: 185

Brunei Darussalam declared independence from Britain in 1984.  With extensive oil and gas reserves, it is one of the richest nations in Southeast Asia.  Found on the island of Borneo, Brunei’s population of 400,000 is completely surrounded on all borders by Malaysia.  In the past 10 years, Brunei has attempted to improve their fortunes by investing heavily in sports, only to have their national soccer team actually fall in the world ratings.

7. Timor-Leste


Current FIFA Ranking: 185

A small nation of nearly a million Catholics, surrounded by 200 million Indonesians, East Timor has suffered through a decade-long independence movement that has the United Nations patrolling the streets.  Problem is, violence has persisted since its independence, not allowing any real sort of sporting tradition to take root.

6. Mauritius


Current FIFA Ranking: 187

The only African nation with a “true” democracy, Mauritius is a small nation of just over a million people off of the east coast of Madagascar.  Unlike other nations near the bottom of the list, Mauritius has a thriving economy and enjoys many ultra-modern conveniences.  Mauritius’ national sports teams, however, have not done well overseas, due to its small population, and a culture that prefers to fund its educational system over their athletics.  What’s that all about?

5. Kyrgyzstan


Current FIFA Ranking: 198

Kyrgyzstan declared independence from the old Soviet Union in 1991.  Since then, Kyrgyzstan has suffered through political upheaval on a near-annual basis. In 2008, it was one of the top countries on the Corruption Perception Index.  Riots and uprisings have not only their sports institutions in flux, but basically the entire country.

4. Andorra


Current FIFA Ranking: 204

Lying on the border between traditional soccer powerhouses Spain and France, tiny Andorra, with a population of just over 85,000, suffers not only from a small player pool, but the fact that the country is located almost entirely in the Pyrenees mountain range.  Every year, 10 million tourists flood into Andorra’s 180-square mile frame to participate in whatever the mountains have to offer, but the maintenance of soccer fields is hard at such high altitudes.

3. Bhutan


Current FIFA Ranking: 207

With a population of 750,000, all you have to do is look at a geographic map of Bhutan to understand their logistical problems.  Practically the entire country is located high in the Himalayan Mountains.  The national sport is archery, while Bhutan’s greatest victory in soccer was chronicled in 2003’s Dutch documentary The Other Final.  The movie tells the story of 2002’s worst team in the world, Montserrat, losing to 2002’s second worst team in the world, Bhutan, 4 to 0.  Not exactly Remember The Titans.

2. San Marino


Current FIFA Ranking: 207

An enclave surrounded by the country of Italy, San Marino’s size is only 24 square miles, with a population of 30,000.  San Marino claims to be the world’s oldest surviving sovereign state, but a strong history cannot overcome its tiny dimensions. Poor San Marino has either been in last, or tied for last, in the world soccer rankings for the past 3 years.

1. Turks and Caicos Islands


Current FIFA Ranking: 207

Not just 2 islands, but a set of over 300 islands just south of the Bahamas, 45,000 residents call these islands home.  The national sport of the Islands is cricket, with its main source of income coming from tourism.  Let me turn the question around to you, the reader.  If you lived on a tropical paradise surrounded by the Caribbean heat, what would you do: row your kayak to your friend’s island hut to kick a ball around in the sand, or would you lie on a hammock, sipping mixed drinks on the beach?  Precisely.

The Turks and Caicos Islands are currently tied for dead last in the world soccer rankings, just like they were 10 years ago, but without the excuse of a natural disaster to divert attention from the pitch.

Please send your hate mail to author Fred Hunt.

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  1. As I have expalined before the sport is called Association Football. Calling it Football is an abbreviation just as is the term Soccer is an abbreviation of Association so either term is correct.

  2. why do people get soo worked up coz the yanks dont like football, I seriously couldnt care less

  3. im sorry but why do I see the word soccer, I believe the word is football, seeing as the sport involves a ball being kicked around with feet 8/

  4. Actually it’s called Association Football not just football which is a term that could be used to describe Rugby Union Football, Rugby League Football, Australian Football, American Football, Gaelic Football to name just a few. Association Football fans should embrace the term Soccer as it is unique to their sport and is an abbreviation of the word Association.

  5. Actually english university students came up with the word soccer while the working class called it football. When the game came to America there was already football (American) so they continued using soccer. So technically the US uses the classy version for the game.

  6. I dont see some of the largest nations on earth on the list for example China,India and the USA which calls the game of Football ,,,Sokker

  7. You missed USA!! Inly country in the world that calls Football SOCCER! Losers!

    Greetings from Brazil!

    • I’m surprised it took you so long to get this up here. But everyone knows the USA doesn’t care about football. If we actually won the world cup, probably by buying all the best players, the average US citizen wouldn’t care.

      • You cannot win the world cup by “buying” players. The players that play for national teams have to have either been born, or have certain relatives that come from that nation.

      • @marc: You may be right, but then again, nobody outside of the USA cares about your “Super Bowl”.

        • sorry pal but money can not buy futbol players if a player play for a national team before can not play for another fifa’s rules sorry for that but this time money is not the answer for the US talent is and you dont have any

        • We don’t need to buy players. We just need to create a league of all United States teams and call the winner World Champion. That’s what we did in baseball for decades and look how good that turned out. Whether our best athletes are fit to hold the average Brasilian player’s jock strap is utterly irrelevant.

        • Like james said, you can NOT buy players for a national team in FIFA football. The players actually have to be citizens of the country that they play for. Also, if you’ve played for one country even once, you cannot represent another country ever, even if you change your nationality. Also, are you sure you even had the money? I’ve heard China pretty much owns all the US money nowadays.

    • @Thaz: ignorance is bliss, eh?
      FYI, Football = “Futbol Americano”, with ze rugby ball; while Soccer = “Futbol”/”Balón Pie”, with ze round ball.
      Learn before you get ridiculous

    • Nothing wrong in calling it soccer in North America when the Brits themselves invented that term. Australians also call it soccer.

      Are Italians losers also because they call it calcio?

  8. “The only African nation with a “true” democracy”???
    Is this another case of a Westerner knowing nothing about what’s happening on the other side of the globe because of sensationalist media reporting or just a backwards hillbilly trying to report on a international phenomenon?

    • It’s an american, what do you expect. Ignorance is bliss I guess. But I notice that more and more here, complete ignorance of what is going on in the world, and just spout random crap like “the only true democracy in Africa”.
      But you’ll be flamed and trolled by the Murica tards here thinking they are so epic.

  9. David Verney on

    Not surprising really as these are some pretty tiny countries. I was thinking you’d talk about major countries like India, Iran, Iraq, China or the United States.

  10. Finland as a national team sucks, but some individual Finnish players don’t ,like e.g. Jari Litmanen (a legend in Ajax of Amsterdam), Teemu Pukki (Schalke, Germany), Mikael Forssell (Chelsea, Leeds and Birmingham City, UK, Mönchengladbach and Hannover, Germany) and maybe I forgot someone else.

  11. Before I get any irate England fans wanting to kill me, I would like to propose England could’ve been on this list purely because we created the sport and yet we can’t win any tournaments. Ok 1966 but its a bit of a joke that we haven’t even seen a final since. You don’t get America losing Baseball and Basketball.

    -An England fan (from England to clarify)