Belgium finish top of FIFA rankings for second year in a row; Asian champions Qatar register biggest jump in places

Qatar made the biggest move up FIFA's world rankings in 2019, driven by winning the Asian Cup while Belgium topped the charts for the second year running.

The Associated Press December 19, 2019 17:54:56 IST
Belgium finish top of FIFA rankings for second year in a row; Asian champions Qatar register biggest jump in places
  • FIFA’s year-end rankings published Thursday put Belgium at No 1 for the second straight year

  • Qatar have maintained the same place through a year that included playing as an invited team at the Copa America

  • Japan also was among the biggest climbers this year, from No 50 to being Asia’s top-ranked team at No 28

Zurich: Qatar made the biggest move up FIFA's world rankings in 2019, driven by winning the Asian Cup.

FIFA’s year-end rankings published Thursday put Belgium at No 1 for the second straight year.

Belgium finish top of FIFA rankings for second year in a row Asian champions Qatar register biggest jump in places

Belgium, semi-finalists in the last FIFA World Cup in France, finished on top of the charts once again. Reuters

Qatar kicked off at the Asian Cup in January as the world No 93 team, and jumped 38 places to No 55 after beating Japan in the final.

The 2022 World Cup host has maintained the same place through a year that included playing as an invited team at the Copa America and in qualifying games for the 2023 Asian Cup.

Qatar, which never qualified for any previous World Cup, is ranked higher than the previous host Russia was, at No 70, when that tournament kicked off in June 2018. Russia outperformed expectations by reaching the quarter-finals

FIFA has modified how rankings were calculated since the 2018 World Cup.

Japan also was among the biggest climbers this year, from No 50 to being Asia’s top-ranked team at No 28.

African champion Algeria made the second-biggest move, rising 32 places to No 35 since the start of the year.

In Europe, Kosovo rose 16 places to No 115. The next game for FIFA's newest member nation is a playoff round in March for the 2020 European Championship.

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