December 8, 2021

Belgium retains top spot, USMNT enters top 10 in the FIFA rankings

2 min read

Despite being knocked out in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Euro 2020, Roberto Martinez’s Belgium retains its spot on top of the FIFA World Rankings, while the tournament’s winners Italy moved up to the fifth, and for the first time in 15 years, the United States Men’s National Team (USMT) broke into the top 10 of the list. A total of 348 international matches have been played since the last FIFA ranking.

In 2020, Belgium ended the year as the top-ranked footballing nation in the world for the third consecutive year, just ahead of world champions France. Only 352 international matches were held last year, the fewest since 1987, due to the pandemic compared to a total of 1,082 international games that were played in 2019, the most since the rankings system was introduced in 1993.

Meanwhile, the Gold Cup and Nations League winners are the biggest climbers in the top 20 of the FIFA world rankings. The Americans have pushed up 10 places into 10th in the latest FIFA rankings, reaching 10th position, the first highest-ranking since May 2006 when they were rated the fifth best team in world football. The USMNT clinched the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 1-0 victory in the final over Mexico.

The USMNT earned the U.S. their first trophy since the 2017 Gold Cup and ended a streak of four consecutive defeats to Mexico in the knockout stage of an official tournament. The last victory came in the 2007 Gold Cup final. However, despite the loss to USMNT, Mexico remained slightly ahead of the U.S. in the rankings, moving up to No. 9.  

Elsewhere, Argentina, who beat Brazil in the final of Copa America 2021, moved up two places to sixth in the ranking. Brazil, on the other hand, moved up one spot to second, while reigning World Cup champion France is No. 3, England is No. 4. Spain dropped one place to seventh, while Portugal is down three places to eighth. Below is a list of the current top 20 teams in the FIFA men’s world ranking:

  1. Belgium (Even)
  2.  Brazil (Up 1)
  3. France (Down 1)
  4. England (Even)
  5. Italy (Up 2)
  6. Argentina (Up 2)
  7. Spain (Down 1)
  8. Portugal (Down 3)
  9. Mexico (Up 2)
  10. USMNT (Up 10)
  11. Denmark (Down 1)
  12. Netherlands (Up 4)
  13. Uruguay (Down 3)
  14. Switzerland (Down 1)
  15. Colombia (Even)
  16. Germany (Down 4)
  17. Sweden (Up 1)
  18. Croatia (Down 4)
  19. Wales (Down 2)
  20. Chile (Down 1)

These rankings were used by FIFA to determine “pots” for the draw of the World Cup, so highly-ranked teams won’t be drawn into the same group.

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