ZURICH: The large number of qualification matches for continental competitions (26) and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ (61) means that the September edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking contains significant movement and change.
Despite the shifts up and down the ranking however, Argentina and Belgium remain in first and second place respectively, cementing their positions at the summit of the ranking for another month.
Elsewhere in the top five, Germany (third, up one) and Colombia (fourth, down one) have traded places while a rejuvenated Brazil, under new coach Tite, have moved into joint fourth place thanks mainly to victories against Colombia and Ecuador in World Cup qualifiers.
Wales move up
Not far away from the top, Uruguay (ninth, up three) and Wales (10th, up one) have muscled their way into the top ten at the expense of Spain (11th, down three) and Italy (13th, down three).
While Brazil have garnered the most points in the month, Bolivia are the biggest climbers (75th, up 35), followed by Malawi (99th, up 28), the Faroe Islands (111th, up 24) and the Dominican Republic (114th, up 24).
The two newest members of FIFA, Gibraltar and Kosovo, participated in their first-ever FIFA World Cup™ qualification matches in September.
With only two “A” internationals to their name in ranking history, Kosovo (168th, up 22) are the fifth-biggest climbers this month, showing a strong upward momentum.
In contrast, Gibraltar (205th) secured no points from their two matches, the first of which was against newly crowned European champions Portugal (seventh, down one).
This month, the following teams have reached their best-ever position in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking: Guinea-Bissau (73rd, up tow), St Kitts and Nevis (77th, up four), Kazakhstan (83rd, up 13), Comoros (152nd, up three), and Kosovo (as stated above), while four new teams have entered the top 50: Scotland (44th, up seven), Australia (45th, up 12), Greece (48th, up four), and Uzbekistan (49th, up six).
A total of 126 international “A” matches were played over the past month, bringing the total number of matches for 2016 so far to 632.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on October 20.
Leader Argentina (unchanged)
Moves into top ten Uruguay (9th, up 3), Wales (10th, up 1)
Moves out of top ten Spain (11th, down 3), Italy (13th, down 3)
Matches played in total 126
Most matches played Qatar (5 matches)
Biggest move by points Brazil (up 167 points)
Biggest move by ranks Bolivia (up 35 ranks)
Biggest drop by points Finland (down 131 points)
Biggest drop by ranks Central African Republic (down 35 ranks)
Newly ranked teams Gibraltar (205th)