Belgium top year-end world rankings for third straight time


Belgium top year-end world rankings for third straight time
Soccer Football - UEFA Nations League - League A - Group 2 - Belgium v Denmark - King Power Stadion At Den Dreef, Leuven, Belgium - November 18, 2020 Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammate Romelu Lukaku REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

In Summary

  • Roberto Martinez’s Belgium won six of their eight games this year as they booked their place in next year’s UEFA Nations League finals
  • The top four remained unchanged with France, Brazil and England retaining their second, third and fourth rankings respectively

Belgium were crowned FIFA’s team of the year for the third straight time after retaining the top spot ahead of world champions France in the latest world rankings released on Thursday, soccer’s world governing body said.

While a total of 1,082 international games were played in 2019, the most since the rankings system was introduced in 1993, only 352 matches were held this year – the fewest since 1987 – due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roberto Martinez’s Belgium won six of their eight games this year as they booked their place in next year’s UEFA Nations League finals.

The top four remained unchanged, with Brazil and England retaining their third and fourth ranking respectively.

Portugal moved up to fifth, while both Spain (sixth) and Argentina (seventh) improved two places compared to last year.

Hungary (40th) were the most improved side in the rankings this year, having gained 44 points and 12 places to break into the top 50.

Marco Rossi’s side lost just once in eight matches to qualify for the Euro 2020 finals, which has been postponed until June-July next year due to COVID-19.

Kenya closed the year ranked 104.

Top 20 rankings:

1. Belgium

2. France

3. Brazil

4. England

5. Portugal

6. Spain

7. Argentina

8. Uruguay

9. Mexico

10. Italy

11. Croatia

12. Denmark

13. Germany

14. Netherlands

15. Colombia

16. Switzerland

17. Chile

18. Wales

19. Poland

20. Senegal

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