Canada’s bronze medal win at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 saw the North Americans reach their highest-ever position of fourth in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking.
This month’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament accounted for around 40 per cent of the 63 matches played in the last two months, with many of the remaining fixtures being friendly games.
Winning five of their six matches at Rio 2016, Canada not only matched their achievement of winning bronze at the London 2012 Olympics, they were rewarded with a massive 93-point increase in their rating to move up six places from tenth position. It is the first time that Canada have moved into the top five, surpassing their previous high of seventh place.
Canada’s fourth-place ranking was not the only notable achievement for John Herdman’s side. Their 93-point gain sets a new record in the 13-year history of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking, surpassing the 87-point gain by Cameroon in July 2015 and the 80-point gain by Equatorial Guinea in December 2008.
“A top-four ranking is a great achievement for Canada,” said John Herdman, Head Coach of Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team. “We held one of the best women’s sporting events in the world in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 and now we are in touching distance of the number-one spot.
“Getting this close so early in our planning not only provides confidence in the people and plans that have taken us this far, but fuels a deep motivation for us all to go for it, to push for that number-one spot. It’s a massive challenge to push beyond USA, Germany and France, but one that I’m sure the soccer community in Canada will get behind and support in whatever ways possible.”
Canada at Rio 2016
“It was an incredible performance by our Women’s National Team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” said Victor Montagliani, President of Canada Soccer. “That team and those players are a true inspiration for a very proud nation.”
Canada recently made history with back-to-back podium finishes at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games. At the last three major women’s tournaments, Canada finished third at the London 2012 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, sixth at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, and third at the Rio 2016 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
“We are enjoying success on the heels of establishing a truly integrated and connected Women’s National Team program, from the first team to our youth teams in the Women’s EXCEL Program,” said Peter Montopoli, General Secretary of Canada Soccer. “Our performances at back-to-back Olympic Games as well as the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 shows that we are moving in the right direction in becoming one of the world’s tier-one programs.”
For Team Canada, this marks the first back-to-back medal performance at the Summer Olympic Games since 1908. From more than 100 years of Summer Olympics, only Team Canada’s men’s lacrosse had previously won back-to-back medals back in 1904 and 1908. With bronze at London 2012 and Rio 2016, Canada Soccer’s Women’s National Team are the first women’s team sport to win back-to-back Summer Olympic medals.