Which country was best at Football in 2011?

Japan celebrates after beating the USA on penalties for the Women World Cup
Which country was best at football (soccer) in 2011?
It’s not a straightforward answer, at least not for us at GSN.
According to FIFA ….and here’s the first difficulty: the FIFA ranking is split between Men and Women but no overall ranking tells who’s best, men, ladies or lads.
One-nil to GSN?
 So for the FIFA Men: it’s Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Uruguay and England for the top five. Brazil is conspicuously 6th, and the two other “greats” are 9th (Italy) and 10th (Argentina).
There’s little to argue: the ranking does reflect common sentiment (an often underrated indicator of any ranking’s value) and it’s arrived at by a simple yet powerful formula that weighs the team’s result, the opponent’s strength, each match’s importance and the Confederation weight.
How about GSN? First of all, we declare a 2011 all-gender winner: it’s Japan, followed at a respectable distance by the USA, then Sweden, Australia and France (Brazil is 7th).
We can’t compare this with FIFA (1-1?) so we look at the GSN Men Football Global Cup: the ranking is Mexico, Japan, USA, Australia and South Korea (plus nineteen other countries scoring points), reflecting the winners and the relative Confederation’s weight of the year’s tournaments.
Why all this difference with FIFA? Because GSN focuses on the key tournaments in the year: for 2011 they were the Asian Cup (Men), the Copa America (Men), the CONCACAF Gold Cup (Men) and the FIFA Women World Cup.
FIFA on the other hand brings into account all the official international games played by each team. It follows that GSN has an event-focused picture which in our opinion loses out to some extent vs the FIFA ranking…but where GSN wins is in crowning an overall winner.
2011 has been a relatively “efficient” year for GSN, with 3 Men continental  tournaments balanced by the quadrennial event for Women. In overall terms the only snag is that European Men did not compete, and this to some extent explains why only two countries out of the top 5 for GSN are European, while for FIFA (Men) four out of the top 5 are from the Old Continent.
One last comparison with FIFA: their Women rankings top 5 says USA, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Sweden; for GSN it’s Japan, USA, Sweden, France and Brazil, ie the top 5 of the Women World Cup. Pretty much the same despite the differences in calculations.
The draw is confirmed.
To go back to the initial question: 2011 for GSN Football has been Japan’s year, thanks to victories in the Women World Cup and the Men Asian Cup.
Whatever the comparison with FIFA, another factor emerges from the round-up: that football geography for Women is wholly different from Men, as the World Cup result shows.
Europe may lead, and rightly so, the Men’s ranking  but are much weaker than other continents in Women, as the successes of Japan and the USA show. Interestingly, it’s the Latin American and European countries who’re missing from the Women top echelons, France and Brazil aside. In the FIFA Women top 20 we have only 4 LA/E teams (France, Brazil, Italy 11th and Spain 17th), while in the Men the same contingent is made up of the leader Spain and 7 other teams.
Is there a prettiness factor involved?