ZURICH: Ahead of a busy month in senior international football, with FIFA World Cup™ qualifying and the FIFA Confederations Cup set to take centre stage in June, there has been some notable movement in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
New Zealand, who will face hosts Russia in the opener of the Confederations Cup in Saint Petersburg on June 17, are the biggest movers by rank (95th, up 17), while there are marginal gains for other Russia 2017 participants Australia (48th, up two) and Cameroon (32nd, up one).
With just ten international friendlies having taken place since the May edition, there is little surprise that most of the top 10 remains unchanged, with Brazil, Argentina and another Confederations Cup contender Germany retaining their places in the top three.
However, Poland (10th, up one) have managed to gatecrash the top 10 for the first time in the ranking’s history, with the side currently sitting top of Group E in the UEFA section of World Cup qualifying joining Spain on 1198 ranking points, meaning they share 10th spot.
Another pair of sides who share a space in the ranking are United Kingdom neighbours Wales (13th) and England (13th, up one) thanks to the Three Lions’ slight rise.
Along with Poland, three other sides who have impressed of late in their respective confederations in World Cup qualifying have reached an all-time high in the June edition, with Peru (15th, up 2), Syria (77th, up 3) and Papua New Guinea (153rd, up 3) all climbing to their loftiest position since the ranking began almost a quarter of a century ago.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on July 6.
Leader Brazil (unchanged)
Moves into top 10 Poland (10th, up one)
Moves out of top 10 none
Matches played in total 10
Most matches played Benin (three games)
Biggest move by points Montenegro (up 87 points)
Biggest move by ranks New Zealand (up 17 ranks)
Biggest drop by points Burkina Faso (down 60 points)
Biggest drop by ranks Mauritania (down 13 ranks)
Newly ranked teams none
Teams that are no longer ranked none
Inactive teams, not ranked none