ZURICH: England’s bright resumption of their World Cup qualifying campaign has lifted them up to third in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. Oddly new European champions Italy remain becalmed in fifth place.

The ranking was updated after the completion of 152 World Cup qualifiers plus 25 friendlies in the first half of September.

Belgium remain in top spot with Brazil still second however England moved up behind them because France dropped out of the top three. England’s recent record of two wins and a draw lifted them back into the top trio nine years after last being there.

With three victories in as many games, Denmark (10, up one) break into the Top 10, where Portugal (seventh, up one) and Spain (eighth, down one) swap positions.

The most notable climbs among the top 50 came from Iran (22, up four), Russia (37, up four),  Norway (39, up four), Scotland (45, up four) and Northern Ireland (47, up four).

The listings below 50th place we see the best progressions through Libya (110, up 12), Canada (51, up eight), Liberia (144, up six), Malta (171, up six), Panama (68, up six), Bulgaria (70, up five) and Saudi Arabia (56, up five).

Special mention to Kosovo (109, up six) who, having beaten Georgia (1-0) and held Greece (1-1), climb to 109th place and an all-time high.

Click HERE to view the complete ranking.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 21 October 2021.

Leader    Belgium (unchanged)
Countries entering the Top 10    Denmark (10, + 1)
Countries exiting the Top 10    USA (13, – 3)
Total matches played    177
Most matches played    Ethiopia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Niger, Sudan (4)
Biggest increase in points    Libya (+ 27.27 points)
Biggest increase in places     Libya (+ 12 places)
Biggest drop in points    Cyprus (- 32.65 points)
Biggest drop in places    Venezuela, Jamaica (- 9 places)
Countries joining the Ranking    None
Countries leaving the Ranking    None
Unranked inactive teams    Cook Islands