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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Brazil hold on, Morocco on up and up

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The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has just crowned a new champion in Argentina (2nd, plus 1), but that has not stopped Brazil (1st, -) staying out front in the last FIFA/Cola-Cola World Ranking of the year.

A Seleção hold a narrow lead over La Albiceleste, who would have jumped ahead of their neighbours and rivals had they beaten France (3rd, plus 1) in last Sunday’s World Cup final in normal or extra time.

Unlucky losers, Les Bleus may have lost their world crown but they are back in the top three. Dropping out of it are Belgium (4th, minus 2), after they failed to reach the knockout phase at

Qatar 2022. England (5th, -) complete the top five.

On the back of their respective runs to the last four of the World Cup, Croatia (7th, plus 5) and Morocco (11th, plus 11) have both made spectacular jumps up the Ranking. The Atlas Lions are the year’s highest climbers in fact, having collected no fewer than 142 points over the last 12 months.

Similarly, Australia (27th, plus 11) and Cameroon (33rd, plus 10) have World Cup performances to thank for their climbs of 11 and 10 places respectively, while Saudi Arabia (49th, plus 2), who beat Argentina in the group phase in Qatar move into the top 50, as do Burkina Faso (50th, plus 4).

In total, seven teams have risen by more than ten places in the Ranking since December 2021: Gambia (126th, plus 24), Morocco (11th, plus 17), Costa Rica (32nd, plus 17), Cameroon (33rd,

plus 17), Equatorial Guinea (98th, plus 16), Indonesia (151st, plus 13) and Cuba (168th, plus 11).

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