Germany have overtaken Neymar’s Brazil at the top of the FIFA rankings released Thursday while Gareth Bales’ Wales have moved ahead of England to grab British bragging rights.
Joachim Loew’s Germany lead their World Cup group after victories over the Czech Republic and Norway in September to maintain their unbeaten record in qualifying.
Argentina’s troubled campaign which has left Lionel Messi and his teammates in danger of missing out on Russia 2018 sees them slide to fourth place, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal moving up to third.
Wales meanwhile become the highest-ranked British side after overtaking England to move into 13th place after wins over Moldova and Austria in this month’s qualifying for the World Cup.
England are 15th despite recent victories over Malta and Slovakia.
Higher rankings can mean a kinder draw for next year’s World Cup. FIFA rankings as of September 14:
1. Germany (+1)
2. Brazil (-1)
3. Portugal (+3)
4. Argentina (-1)
5. Belgium (+4)
6. Poland (-1)
7. Switzerland (-3)
8. France (+2)
9. Chile (-2)
10. Colombia (-2)
11. Spain (0)
12. Peru (+3)
13. Wales (+5)
14. Mexico (0)
15. England (-2)
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) September 14, 2017
Provided by AFP Sport
While the extravagant nature of spending in today’s game has perhaps gone too far, on Tuesday night, we were all reminded that the beautiful game as we love to know it is still alive and well.
In what was one of the feel-good stories of the year, Syria kept their World Cup dreams alive with a dramatic late 2-2 draw against Iran.
An equalising goal from Omar Al Soma secured a valuable point that moved the Arabic country ahead of Uzbekistan and into a third spot play-off berth in the Group A Asia qualifying table.
The Arab nation, who have been playing their home fixtures in Malaysia, will now face Australia in a two-legged qualifying clash next month.
Should they get past the team from down under, Syria would then play a fourth-placed CONCACAF team – in another two-tie contest – marking their final hurdle to qualification.
Former Manchester United striker Andrew Cole has praised Marcus Rashford after his outstanding form for club and country this season.
Jose Mourinho and Gareth Southgate have put faith in the 19-year-old and are reaping the awards from his fearless talents.
With Rashford firing on all cylinders thanks to the services of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, Cole is expecting big things from the young Englishman.
“He’s a young man, he’s hungry, loads of desire, passion. What I like about him is he plays it like it’s his last game.
“When you’re at that age that’s what you do, cause you enjoy it so much. If he continues to improve with the players he has around him, he could be a world beater. He definitely has the quality.”
“His attitude is bang on. He’s spot on. He works very well, he wants to improve. I was listening to him say last season how much he watches Zlatan and Wayne, and how much he learns off the guys in his position. He takes it all on board, he takes it in his stride, to add things to his game.”
Rashford continued his impressive form by scoring the winning goal for England in their World Cup qualifier against Slovakia on Monday.