Brazil still No.1 …despite Argentina World Cup win

 Argentina will not take over at the top of FIFA’s World Ranking this month — despite defeating France to win the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

South American rivals, Brazil, have held the No. 1 position since February, when they deposed Belgium at the summit. But even though the Selecao failed to make it past the quarterfinals, Argenti­na’s results haven’t been enough to overtake them.

Brazil won three games at the World Cup, lost to Cameroon and suffered a penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Croatia.

Argentina, meanwhile, won four games, lost one to Saudi Ara­bia and were twice victorious on penalties — including the finals on Sunday as they beat France 4-2 on spot kicks.

Argentina won the Copa America in 2021, and is now world champions, but it’s not enough for the No. 1 spot. Shootout successes are worth far fewer ranking points than regulation time wins. If either Argentina or France had won the finals within 120 minutes, they would have gone to No. 1, but a penalty shootout guaranteed that Brazil could not be overtaken.

Argentina and France both moved up one place into sec­ond and third respectively, while Belgium slided down two places to fourth after failing to make it beyond the group stage.

England stayed in fifth, with fellow quarter finalists, Nether­lands, taking the sixth.

Croatia’s run to a third-place finish at the World Cup saw them climb to the top 10. Italy, who failed to make it to Qatar, dropped two spots to eighth. Portugal main­tained it ninth position, with Spain down three places to 10th.

The biggest climbers were Mo­rocco and Australia, both placing 11th. Both countries massively performed, with Morocco now the top-ranked African team in 11th, making the round of 16 through to 27. This is not Morocco’s high­est-ever ranking, as they were 10th in 1998, but in 2015, they were as low as 92nd.

Cameroon also enjoyed a big rise of 10 places up to 33rd, thanks to their win over Brazil.

The United States took over as the top-ranking CONCACAF team, placing 13th, with Mexico getting into the 15th.

Canada and Qatar were the biggest fallers, both dropping 12 places into 53rd and 62nd respec­tively. Wales slumped nine spots into 28th; Denmark was down eight into 18th and Serbia dropped eight to 29th. –ESPN

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