AUSTRALIA have jumped five spots to 40th on the latest FIFA world rankings.
On the back of recent draws in World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Japan, the Socceroos have climbed to their highest position since 2012.
They gained 20 points since the September rankings, taking them to 663 and putting them ahead of the likes of Ghana, Korea, Serbia and Greece. While still a long way off their all-time highest position of 14th in 2009, Ange Postecoglou’s team have made giant strides since bottoming out two years ago at No.102.
The Socceroos are the second-highest ranked team in Asia, behind Iran (27th). Argentina maintained top spot with World Cup champions Germany moving into second from third.
Germany, Brazil climb to close in on Argentina
Following another packed round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifiers, there has been a reshuffle on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking podium as Germany and Brazil have moved into second and third respectively.
A pair of wins for the current world champions, who saw off Czech Republic (40th, down 7) and Northern Ireland (36th, down 6) – just two of the 129 games played worldwide – means they have trimmed Argentina’s lead to just 156 points.
Belgium (4th, down 2) have fallen out of the top three for the first time since March 2015, with Colombia slipping to fifth (down 1), while defeated UEFA EURO 2016 finalists France (up 1) have leap-frogged European champions Portugal (8th, down 1) into seventh.
Spain return to the top ten, while fellow Europeans Poland (15th, up 2), Iceland (21st, up 6) and Kosovo (164th, up 4) have moved up to their highest-ever placings. The same feat has also been achieved by Guinea-Bissau (69th, up 4), St Kitts and Nevis (73rd, up 4), Curaçao (77th, up 45), Kyrgyzstan (99th, up 9), Comoros (143rd, up 9) and Papua New Guinea (159th, up 3).
Impressive gains across the globeThe biggest rise in terms of places and points this month has gone the way of Montenegro (56th, up 49), following wins over Kazakhstan (90th, down 7) and Denmark (50th, down 4). There have also been impressive leaps from the likes of Azerbaijan (88th, up 45) and Faroe Islands (74th, up 37) – the latter equalling their highest-ever position.
There have been noteworthy two-digit climbs for Iran (27th, up 10) and Slovenia (52nd, up 15), while Israel (79th, up 19), Syria (96th, up 18) and Lithuania (98th, up 19) have made substantial moves around the top 100.
Cyprus (139th, down 52) suffer the heaviest drop in the ranking. Meanwhile there have been notable two-figure demotions for Russia (53rd, down 15) – taking them out of the top 50 – and the quintet of Finland (101st, down 17), Jordan (104th, down 18), Mauritania (115th, down 19), New Zealand (116th, down 28) and Latvia (116th, down 21) – seeing them move out of the top 100.
The next edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be released on 24 November.