The thousand-game mark has now been passed! November’s 120 qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, coupled with 25 friendlies also held this month, have brought the total number of internationals in 2021 to 1058. And just as they have done since 2018, Belgium (1) end the calendar year at the summit.
That said, the Red Devils came close to surrendering the top spot to their nearest pursuers Brazil who are second in the latest rankings were unable to take advantage of Belgium’s draw in Wales after a stalemate of their own against Argentina.
France is at number 3 whose two qualifying wins this month moved them closer to the leading pair, themselves only separated by 2.1 points.
Closing in on a podium position is England at position 4 who climbed a rung on the ladder thanks to Italy’s (6, -2) travails in the qualifiers for Qatar 2022.
Down to sixth in the global standings, the reigning European champions now also have Argentina (5, +1) in front of them. they added a point.
Another country heading in the wrong direction is Mexico (14, -5), whose fall of five places saw them cede their Top 10 spot to a Netherlands (10, +1) side fresh from World Cup qualification.
Italy fall two places to sixth after they failed to qualify for the World Cup automatically and must now go through the playoffs in UEFA. Spain and Portugal remain even in seventh and eighth respectively, while Denmark rise one place to ninth.
That means eight of the top 10 teams in the world, and 13 of the top 20, are from Europe.
Mexico reduced five points and the Netherlands added one.
As of this month, 13 countries have qualified for Qatar 2022, with 11 of these ranked in the Top 15. Serbia (23, +2) and Qatar (51, -5), the latter qualifying automatically as hosts, are the two ranked lower.
Down in 72nd a year ago, Canada (40, +8) is now up to 40th, a lofty position they have not experienced since December 1996.
Indeed, as recently as May 2021 they were ranked 70th in the world as John Herdman and his talented young group continues to impress and are closing in on a first World Cup qualification since 1986, and just their second-ever appearance at a World Cup.
And while the Canucks can take pride in their eight-place rise since the October Ranking, three other teams fared even better in the same period: Equatorial Guinea (114, +12), Ecuador (46, +9), and Togo (125, +9).
Top 20 FIFA world rankings in full (November 19, 2021)
1. Belgium (Even)
2. Brazil (Even)
3. France (Even)
4. England (Up 1)
5. Argentina (up 1)
6. Italy (Down 2)
7. Spain (Even)
8. Portugal (Even)
9. Denmark (Up 1)
10. Netherlands (Up 1)
11. Germany (Up 1)
12. USMNT (Up 1)
13. Switzerland (Up 1)
14. Mexico (Down 5)
15. Croatia (Up 3)
16. Colombia (Even)
17. Uruguay (Down 2)
18. Sweden (Down 1)
19. Wales (Even)
20. Senegal (Even)
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 23 December 2021
Find the full ranking list here