European teams prepare for continental challenge

Argentina and Belgium held onto first and second place respectively on the latest FIFA/Cola-Cola World Ranking, while a flurry of international matches – largely among European teams focused on their final preparations for the UEFA EURO 2016 taking place from 10 June to 10 July – resulted in a number of shifts in the top 50 this month.

45 international friendlies were included in calculating the latest ranking, along with four 2018 FIFA World Cup™ qualification matches for the OFC region. Leading the changes were Colombia (3, plus 1) and Germany (4, plus 1) who leapfrogged Chile (5, minus 2) to reshuffle the order of the top five teams slightly.

Austria (10, up 1) meanwhile, returned to the Top 10 at the expense of England (11, minus 1) while elsewhere in Europe, Italy (12, plus 3), France (17, plus 4) and Ukraine (19, plus 3) all enjoyed positive momentum in the Top 20. Switzerland’s (15, minus 1) loss to Belgium on 28 May saw them slip one position into 15th, while Turkey’s defeat to England on 22 May cost them five places on the world ranking (18).

Northern Ireland secured 25th position this month, their best-ever performance since the official world ranking’s introduction in 1993. The ‘Green and White Army’ will be making their debut at the European Championship and last appeared in an international competition some 30 years ago at the 1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico™.

The top movers were Slovakia and Madagascar. The Europeans climbed eight positions to take 24th place, while the island nation located off Africa’s southeast coast climbed 29 positions into 108.

The regional composition of the Top 50 this month is: UEFA (29), CONMEBOL (8), CAF (7), CONCACAF (4) AFC (2), OFC (0).

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 14 July 2016.

Leader

Argentina

Moves into top ten

Austria (10, plus 1)

Moves out of top ten

England (11, minus 1)

Matches played in total

49

Most matches played

USA (3)

Biggest move by points

Slovakia (plus 68)

Biggest move by ranks

Madagascar (plus 29)

Biggest drop by points

Rwanda (minus 69)

Biggest drop by ranks

Rwanda (minus 16)