First rankings since World Cup sees Ireland make a climb

Doug Mendoza
August 16, 2018

Belgium and Brazil ranked second and third, while finalist Croatia and Uruguay closed out the top-5.

Here's a brief eplanation from Federation Internationale de Football Association on the new way of ranking teams that has now been implemented, with the governing body no longer taking into account which confederation a team comes from when it comes to collecting points.

Didier Deschamps' side replace Germany at the top of the new rankings, the dethroned world champions falling all the way back to 15th after failing to qualify for the tournament's knock-out stages.

Nigeria, Africa's other representatives at the World Cup, lost just a single place after their one win and two defeats.

Other big movers include Uruguay (5th, up 9), England (6th, up 6), Sweden (13th, up 11), and World Cup hosts Russian Federation who are the biggest climbers (49th, up 21).Among the biggest losers are previous leaders Germany (15th, down 14) who suffered group-stage elimination in Russian Federation.

They say it "relies on adding/subtracting points won or lost for a game to/from the previous point totals rather than averaging game points over a given time period as in the previous version of the Ranking".

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South Africa remain unchanged in the latest FIFA World Rankings at number 74 in the world after the first release of the list in two months and since the completion of the World Cup in Russian Federation.

They beat Colombia and Sweden in the knockout stages before losing to Croatia in the semi-finals.

England takes 6th place, Portugal 7th, Switzerland 8th position, while Spain and Denmark are sitting in the 9th position.

Hosts Russia kicked off the tournament as the lowest-ranked of the 32 teams.

Northern Ireland are up two positions, too, from 29th to 27th. Scotland have risen two places and now sit in 40th place.

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