Belgium Join France on Top Spot of Latest FIFA World Rankings, Germany Climb

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2018

France's Samuel Umtiti, (5) heads the ball to score the opening goal of the game during the semifinal match between France and Belgium at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the St. Petersburg Stadium in, St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

FIFA released its latest world rankings on Thursday, with Belgium and France becoming the first-ever joint-leaders on 1,729 points each. 

There were few changes in the top 10, with Denmark dropping one spot, while Germany climbed three spots into 12th place. Mexico are in at 15, Italy re-entered the top 20 in favour of Peru and the USA remain in 22nd place.

For the full rankings, click here

Here is a look at the top 10, showing Brazil in third place, ahead of World Cup runners-up Croatia:

World Cup semi-finalists England come in at six, behind Uruguay, while European champions Portugal are seventh. Spain sit just a single point behind Switzerland, Argentina are close to the top 10 in 11th place and the Netherlands are down in 17th.

The UEFA Nations League gave teams from that conference the chance to gain some ground, and Belgium took full advantage with a 3-0 win over Iceland. They also crushed Scotland 4-0 in a friendly, which was good enough to move into a tie with France.

The two sides met in the World Cup semi-finals, where eventual champions France took a narrow 1-0 win:

Les Bleus drew with Germany in their first match since the World Cup, but a 2-1 win over the Netherlands ensured they wouldn't drop below the Red Devils.

The top 10 teams remain unchanged, with most of them taking care of business during the international break. Croatia lost a hefty chunk of points―courtesy of a 6-0 demolition at the hands of Spain―but remain two points ahead of Uruguay.

Portugal closed the gap to England a bit as the Three Lions also lost to Spain, although they did bounce back with a win over Switzerland. With fixtures against Croatia and Spain on the horizon, the English side could suffer a slide in the rankings later this year.

Mexico and the USA met in a friendly in Nashville, Tennessee, and while the Stars and Stripes won, it wasn't enough to move the team into the top 20. The gap to Italy is just 16 points, however, and the Azzurri will face the side later this year.

Ghana and Slovenia made the biggest drop with six places each, and Ukraine went up by six spots. No team gained more points than Kenya, who added 22.

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