FIFA World rankings; Belgium remains atop despite Nations League defeats
October was a busy month in international football, with the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Qatar 2022, international friendlies, and the final rounds of the UEFA Nations League all on the agenda.
A total of 160 fixtures were played, the impact of which can be seen in the FIFA World Rankings published on 21 October (Thursday).
Though their lead is now under threat, Belgium remains atop the world hierarchy despite UEFA Nations League defeats to France and Italy.
Among the top five, only Les Bleus and Azzurri have improved their positions. Brazil remains second but is breathing down the neck of Belgium, just 12 points further back. England dropped two places to fifth.
A little further down, Spain’s at number seven progress at the expense of Portugal who sits at nine is also noteworthy, as is that of Germany, who leapfrogged the United States into the 13th place. Uruguay at number 15 lost the most ground among the top 20 by dropping three places.
It is after that, however, where we find some of the most significant movers of this edition. Morocco (29), Russia (33), Egypt (44), Saudi Arabia (49), and South Africa (66) all made strides on the back of two wins from two this month in Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Two nations in the second half of the table fared even better, with New Zealand (111) and Indonesia (165) the joint biggest movers this month, ahead of the Central African Republic (115) and Cambodia (170).
In Asia, Iran remains the top-ranked side at the 22nd spot in the FIFA rankings followed by Japan and Australia in 28th and 34th place respectively. India, who recently won the SAFF Championship 2021 after convincingly defeating Nepal 3-0 at the National Football Stadium in Male, Maldives, on Saturday, October 16, to clinch the SAFF Championship trophy for a record eighth time.
This even made progress moving from 107 previously to 106. Other SAFF nations Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Maldives and made strides but Nepal dropped places and are now ranked at 169.
In Africa, Senegal who have already qualified for the play-off round of the World Cup is ranked first in Africa with followed by Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles at the 27th globally and second in Africa after accruing.
At the third and fourth spot is Morocco and Algeria who have been ranked globally at 29th and 30th respectively by the football governing body.
Check the full rankings here.