Brazil retain top spot at FIFA world ranking despite quarterfinal finish

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ZURICH: Brazil will retain their position at the top of the FIFA World Ranking this month, despite Argentina clinching FIFA World Cup title on Sunday, their first since 1986 and third overall.

As per ESPN, Brazil have held the top spot since February this year, after dethroning Belgium. Despite Brazil being eliminated from the tournament in quarterfinals, Argentina’s World Cup triumph is still not enough to overtake them.

Brazil won three games in the tournament and suffered a loss to Cameroon. They crashed out of the global footballing event after losing to Croatia in quarterfinals. But Argentina won four games, losing only the opening game against Saudi Arabia. In the finals, they beat France by 4-2 on penalties.

Argentina are not number one despite Copa America win in 2021 and this World Cup win. Shootout wins are worth fewer ranking points than regulation-time wins. Had France or Argentina won within 120 minutes, including 30 minutes of extra-time, they would have gone number one.

Argentina and France have moved to second and third respectively, making a movement of one spot. Belgium, which failed to make it past the group stage, slid down two places to fourth. England stay at fifth after their quarterfinal finish. Fellow quarterfinalists Netherlands moved two places to sixth.

Croatia’s third-place finish has given them the seventh position. They have emerged as the biggest climbers in the top 10, making a movement of five spots. Italy dropped to eight after not being able to qualify. Portugal are at ninth and stay unchanged, while Spain are down three places to 10th.

Morocco and Australia climbed 11 places each. Morocco became the first African team to reach World Cup semis and finished fourth after losing to Croatia in the third-place play off, while Australia made it to final 16. Morocco are at number 11 and are the top-ranked African team, while Australia are at 27th position.  Cameroon’s win over Brazil gave them a jump of 10 spots, up to the 33rd position.

USA are the top-ranked Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) team. They are at 13th place while Mexico have slid down to 15th.

Canada and Qatar fell the biggest, sliding down 12 places each to 53rd and 62nd respectively. Wales slumped to 28th, registering a fall of nine spots. Denmark have fallen down eight spots to the 18th position and Serbia is down eight spots to the 29th. The new ranking will be published on Thursday.

New FIFA Ranking top 20: 1. Brazil 2. Argentina 3. France 4. Belgium 5. England 6. Netherlands 7. Croatia 8. Italy 9. Portugal 10. Spain 11. Morocco 12. Switzerland 13. USA 14. Germany 15. Mexico 16. Uruguay 17. Colombia 18. Denmark 19. Senegal 20. Japan. (ANI)

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