The March edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking has seen somewhat less movement than last month, with Spain, Germany, Argentina, Portugal and Colombia remaining unchanged in the top five spots.
Close behind them are Uruguay (6th, up 1) and Switzerland (7th, down 1), while Belgium (10th, up 1) have jumped up into the top ten at the expense of the Netherlands (11th, down 1). Meanwhile England (12th, up 3) and Russia (19th, up 3) have made good progress in the top 20.
Further down the table, Egypt are on the up. Their friendly victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina (21st, down 4) and the devaluation of last year’s defeat by Qatar have helped them climb 12 positions to 26th.
Six other teams have also managed to climb ten or more places: Vietnam (125th, up 18), Comoros (183rd, up 15), Iraq (103rd, up 11), Afghanistan (127th, up 11), Aruba (162nd, up 10) and the Faroe Islands (162nd, up 10).
Afghanistan are not only among the biggest climbers this month, but also together with Panama (29th, up 3) they are the only ones able to celebrate reaching their highest position since the launch of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
A look at the top 50 reveals that this month it is actually a ‘top 51’, as Slovakia (50th, up 4) and Cameroon (50th, down 4) are level on points.
Two additional teams from UEFA have made it into the top 50, bringing UEFA’s total to 28. This means that South America is down to eight top-50 teams, with Paraguay dropping out of the top 50 to 59th position (down 10). The number of top-50 teams from the other confederations is unchanged from last month (CAF with 8, CONCACAF with 5, AFC with 2 and OFC with 0).
Of the 67 matches taken into account, 57 were friendlies. The other ten games were AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, which brings the total number of matches evaluated so far this year to 122.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 10 April 2014.
|Moves into top ten||Belgium (10th, up 1)|
|Moves out of top ten||Netherlands (11th, down 1)|
|Matches played in total||67|
|Most matches played||Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malaysia, Philippines, Swaziland (2 matches each)|
|Biggest move by points||Egypt (up 61 points)|
|Biggest move by ranks||Vietnam (up 18 ranks)|
|Biggest drop by points||Myanmar (down 132 points)|
|Biggest drop by ranks||Myanmar (down 43 ranks)|