Fast Midfielder wrote:
As we are talking about friendlies, these matches won't affect competitive rankings at all. For Elo or FIFA rankings they hardly affect rankings as friendlies are lower valued, especially when the opposition is a team like San Marino. Even an 8-0 win against such kind of minnows won't even give any points in competitive matches, not to mention friendlies.
I'm not sure about the exact science, but some European national teams have hired rankings experts who advised them not to play friendlies, as even a win in one against a lower-ranked opponent can lower their points average. The teams who have taken that advice in recent years include Switzerland (Pot 1 at the 2014 World Cup), Wales, and Romania (both Pot 1 in the 2018 Qualifiers).
Italy themselves (and France) failed to get seeded in 2014 at Switzerland's expense and the Suiss use of the 'no friendly formula' was considered a root cause (not sure how much was accurate and how much was reactionary sour grapes though).
I'm not the one to ask about the specifics of making it better, but there should be a way to reward national teams for having matches, or rather, not punish a team for playing more.