Student Verica Lazova and her professor Lasko Basnarkov from the Faculty of Information Science and Computer Engineering (FINKI) found a new way to harness popular algorithm for ranking websites on “Google”, this time making the rankings of the best football teams of all times.

The review of their study was ten days ago published by the prestigious portal “MIT Technology Review” ( MIT Technology Review) .

To create a complete ranking of national football teams, Lazova and Basnarkov used results from twenty World Championships (World Cups), starting from the first tournament in Montevideo (Uruguay) in 1930 to the last played in the summer last year in Brazil.

They start from the assumption that a team should be ranked higher if it defeated other highly ranked teams.

Macedonian scientists took the results of more than 7,000 matches played between 210 countries. They then created a network in which teams are nodes, among which there are links if played against one another. The magnitude and polarity of the connections depend on the results, who won over whom etc. Finally, Lazova and Basnarkov apply ranking algorithm for multiple iterations to make the ranking.

The results obtained are interesting for every football fan, reports “MIT Technology Review”.

The best ranked team is Brazil, which is not surprising because it is the only team that participated in all World Cups and has won the most titles, five in total. Brazil is followed by Italy, Germany, Holland, Argentina, England, Spain, France and Czechoslovakia, in that order.

Lazova and Basnarkov then compared their rankings with the “eternal” list of world football organization FIFA and noticed similarities, as well as important differences. Brazil is certainly the first on two lists, but the Netherlands is the eighth on the FIFA list, while fourth on their list. Representation of Denmark, however, is their seventeenth, but 25th on the “eternal” list of FIFA. On the other hand, the representation of Czechoslovakia is absent in the FIFA ranking, after the state ceased to exist in 1993.

As stated in the review of “MIT Technology Review”, the study is an interesting approach that demonstrates the usefulness of the algorithm for ranking “Google”, which allows ranking in more or less any type of network.

“Obviously, this approach can be used to create similar ratings for American football, basketball, cricket, or more or less, every sport,” reads the review.

The algorithm for ranking websites has become one of the most in computer science. It was made for ranking web pages according to their meaning by its relationship to other important pages. The algorithm works counting links to a website and importance of pages where the links come. With a process of iteration, the algorithm creates ranking.

The algorithm was developed by the founders of “Google” Larry Page and Sergey Brin in the mid-1990s, and researchers started to use it for rating connections in other networks.