The latest FIFA rankings have been released following the 2022 World Cup and there are some big changes as teams surge up and down the list.
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World Cup winners Argentina aren’t top of the FIFA rankings yet, but they did jump up to second with only South American rivals Brazil ahead of them as they cling on to top spot despite a disappointing World Cup.
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Having the team who won the World Cup not ranked as the No. 1 team on the planet in the latest FIFA rankings will have people everywhere scratching their heads.
And that is fair enough.
Why aren’t Argentina top?
Given the way FIFA calculates its rankings, Lionel Messi and Argentina were given points based on the strength of their recent opponents.
Brazil have a total points tally of 1840.77, just over two points more than Argentina’s 1838.38. That means that Argentina will overtake Brazil after their next game if they win and Brazil fail to win.
FIFA changed its method for calculating these rankings in 2018 and here are the full details of exactly how it’s done. Basically, if you face stronger opponents, you earn more points. And there is no longer a time period attached to these rankings. If you’re bad, you fall faster and if you’re good, you rise quicker.
Who are the big climbers?
Morocco are the big winners as the Atlas Lions surged up 11 spots to 11th in the world. The job Walid Regragui did was sensational and they were the darlings of the 2022 World Cup.
Japan also moved up four spots to 20th, while the USA and Switzerland each moved up three spots with the Americans ranked 13th in the world and Switzerland in 12th.
Australia moved up 11 spots to 27th as the Socceroos shocked us all by reaching the last 16 at the World Cup, where they gave eventual champs Argentina a really tough game. Cameroon moved up 10 places to 33rd, thanks largely to their famous victory against Brazil in the group stage.
Who slid down the rankings?
Belgium moved from second to fourth and they are likely to fall further after their shocking group stage exit at the World Cup. The Golden Generation is gone.
Spain, Germany, Mexico and Uruguay all fell too, while reigning European champs Italy (remember them!?) fell two spots, which was inevitable after Roberto Mancini’s side failed to reach the World Cup.
Denmark moving down eight spots to 18th reflects their awful World Cup, while Iran dropped four places, Wales slipped nine place, Serbia moved down eight to 30th, Canada dropped 12 spots to 53rd and Qatar fell 10 spots to 60th. John Herdman’s Canada saw the biggest fall of any World Cup team.
What to make of the USA’s ranking?
The ranking of 13th is the USMNT’s second-highest position since Gregg Berhalter took charge as they were ranked 10th in 2021. The USMNT have fallen as low as 36th place in these rankings but for much of the last 12 months they’ve been ranked inside the top 20.
With a Gold Cup coming up in 2023 and then the potential to play in the Copa America in 2024 (according to reports), the USA could climb into the top 10 as they have two huge international tournaments to play in and you gain more points for wins in major tournaments compared to friendly games.
Below is the FIFA rankings for the top 20, which shows the movement up and down for teams, plus a graphic which shows where each team at the 2022 World Cup landed.
FIFA rankings, Top 20 as of December 22, 2022
1. Brazil – Even
2. Argentina – Up 1
3. France – Up 1
4. Belgium – Down 2
5. England – Even
6. Netherlands – Up 2
7. Croatia – Up 1
8. Italy – Down 2
9. Portugal – Even
10. Spain – Down 3
11. Morocco – Up 11
12. Switzerland – Up 3
13. USA – Up 3
14. Germany – Down 3
15. Mexico – Down 2
16. Uruguay – Down 2
17. Colombia – Even
18. Denmark – Down 8
19. Senegal – Down 1
20. Japan – Up 4
Seven teams have risen by more than ten places in the #FIFARanking since December 2021 ⬆
But @EnMaroc are the year's highest climbers! 🇲🇦🙌
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 22, 2022