ZURICH: The top three are unchanged in the October edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
Germany have held on to the top spot despite a difficult start to their Euro 2016 qualification campaign. Portugal (ninth, up two) are making their first appearance in the top 10 since July and Belgium (fourth, up one) have leapfrogged Holland (fifth, down one) to achieve their highest ranking yet.
Meanwhile former table-toppers Spain (10th, down two) have slipped down as far as tenth following their defeat against Slovakia (24th, up 16) and Switzerland’s (12th, down two) poor start in the Euro 2016 qualifiers has seen them drop out of the top 10 altogether.
Other continental qualification matches in Africa and CONCACAF have led to big reshuffles further down the ranking. No less than nine teams have climbed more than 20 ranks, while another 19 have moved up by between ten and 19 places. Three other teams have achieved their highest-ever ranking along with Belgium this month: Algeria (15th, up 5), Iceland (28th, up 6) and Antigua and Barbuda (70th, up 10).
There are seven new top-50 teams – Slovenia (36th, up 17), Egypt (38th, up 23), Northern Ireland (43rd, up 28), Poland (44th, up 26), Israel (45th, up 19), Trinidad and Tobago (49th, up 37) and Hungary (50th, up 4) – but no longer any Asian teams in the top 50, with Iran (51st, down 7) and Japan (52nd, down 4) having dropped to 51st and 52nd place respectively.
The breakdown of the top 50 per confederation now looks like this: UEFA (31, plus 3), CAF (9, minus 2), CONMEBOL (6, minus 1), CONCACAF (4, plus 1).
141 matches have been taken into account for the October edition of the world ranking, exactly the same number as last month. Of those matches, 49 were European qualifiers, 28 were African qualifiers and ten were CONCACAF qualifiers, plus there were 54 friendlies. In total, 667 matches have been taken into account over the course of the year so far.
Leader Germany (unchanged)
Moves into top ten Portugal (9th, up 2)
Moves out of top ten Switzerland (12th, down 2)
Matches played in total 141
Most matches played Cambodia (6 matches)
Biggest move by points Togo (up 314 points)
Biggest move by ranks Togo (up 73 ranks)
Biggest drop by points Armenia (minus 124 points)
Biggest drop by ranks Azerbaijan (down 31 ranks)