Brazil stay top of world rankings with Argentina second and Morocco 11th

  • France up to third, Morocco become top African team
  • England stay fifth as Wales drop nine places to 28th

The World Cup 2022 winners, Argentina, have failed to dislodge Brazil from the top of the Fifa men’s world rankings as England remain fifth in the post-Qatar standings.

Argentina have moved into second spot after Lionel Messi led them to their third World Cup triumph on Sunday, adding to their 2021 Copa América title. Had Lionel Scaloni’s side, or beaten finalists France, won the final within 90 minutes, they would have taken the top spot from Brazil.

France climb one place to third, with Belgium dropping two rungs to fourth after their failure to get out of the group stage. England stay fifth after their quarter-final exit, with the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, Portugal and Spain completing the top 10.

Morocco have moved up to 11th place from 22nd after their run to the World Cup semi-finals, replacing Senegal as the highest-ranked African nations. The Atlas Lions’ highest ever ranking was 10th in 1998, and they fell as low as 92nd in 2015. Australia also climb 11 places to 27th after reaching the last 16 in Qatar.

1 Brazil =
2 Argentina ▲1
3 France ▲1
4 Belgium ▼2
5 England =
6 Netherlands ▲2
7 Croatia ▲5
8 Italy ▼2
9 Portugal =
10 Spain =

11 Morocco ▲11
12 Switzerland ▲3
13 United States ▲3
14 Germany ▼3
15 Mexico ▼2
16 Uruguay ▼3
17 Colombia =
18 Denmark ▼8
19 Senegal ▼1
20 Japan ▲4

Wales have dropped nine places to 28th after a disappointing performance at their first World Cup for 64 years, their lowest position since being 37th in April 2015. Scotland are 42nd, the Republic of Ireland 48th and Northern Ireland 59th.

Brazil went into Qatar 2022 as the world’s top-ranked team but lost to Croatia on penalties in the quarter-final, continuing a remarkable run of poor returns for the No 1 side in World Cups since rankings were introduced.

In the last eight tournaments going back to USA 94, no team leading the rankings at kick-off has won the tournament, with only Brazil, the 1998 finalists, getting beyond the quarter-finals. Brazil have been the No 1 side on two other occasions (2006 and 2010), going out in the last eight both times.

Germany went out in the quarter-finals in 1994, while France (2002), Spain (2014) and Germany (2018) – all defending champions – failed to make it out of the group stage.

In Fifa’s women’s rankings, which were last updated on 9 December, the United States stay top ahead of Germany, with Sweden third and England in fourth.


PA Media and Guardian sport

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