ZURICH: Notable changes in the April edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking include Belgium (third, up one) achieving their highest-ever position after two wins in qualifying matches for UEFA Euro 2016. They now lie third behind the unchanged leading duo of Germany and Argentina.
Meanwhile, Brazil (fifth, up one) and Hollanbd (sixth, down one) have traded places.
The Brazilians defeated Euro 2016 hosts France (11th, down three) 3-1, while the Dutch had to settle for a draw against Turkey (52nd, up four) in their qualifying match for the same competition. Switzerland (ninth, up three) and Spain (10th, up one) have re-entered the top 10 at the expense of France and Italy (13th, down three) respectively.
In addition to the above movers, the following teams have risen more than ten places since March: Wales (22nd, up 15), Belarus (83rd, up 15), Iraq (86th, up 11), Azerbaijan (115th, up 24), Syria (126th, up 26), Bermuda (129th, up 40), India (147th, up 26), Curaçao (148th, up 11), Timor-Leste (152nd, up 33), Nicaragua (154th, up 31), Guyana (155th, up 11), Gambia (156th, up 12), Bhutan (163rd, up 46), the US Virgin Islands (173rd, up 24), Brunei Darussalam (183rd, up 15) and the Cayman Islands (191st, up 14). Most of these teams were victorious in one or more qualifying matches in recent weeks, such as Bhutan, who beat Sri Lanka twice in the Asian qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and are now ranked 163rd.
In addition to Belgium and Bhutan, Wales, the Faroe Islands (102nd, up three) and Timor-Leste have all achieved their highest-ever position since the ranking was introduced in 1993.
A total of 135 new international “A” matches have been taken into account for the latest edition of the ranking, taking the total number of matches evaluated so far this year to 217. Of the new matches, 25 were qualifiers for EURO 2016, 26 were 2018 World Cup qualifiers (CONCACAF, AFC) and 84 were friendlies.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on May 7.
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Leader Germany (unchanged)
Moves into top 10 Switzerland (9th, up 3), Spain (10th, up 1)
Moves out of top 10 France (11th, down 3), Italy (13th, down 3)
Matches played in total 135
Most matches played British Virgin Islands, Dominica (3 matches each)
Biggest move by points Wales (up 153 points)
Biggest move by ranks Bhutan (up 46 ranks)
Biggest drop by points Israel (down 231 points)
Biggest drop by ranks New Caledonia (down 23 ranks)