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Tribune News Network
Asian champions Qatar have leapfrogged Saudi Arabia into fifth place in Asia after climbing two spots to 49th according to the latest FIFA Men’s World Ranking released on Thursday.
Iran have dropped two spots to 23rd but remain Asia’s top side while Japan dropped one spot to 24th to remain second while Korea Republic moved up one rung to 28th.
Australia, boosted by their qualification to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, moved up three spots to 39 to occupy fourth place among the Asian sides.
Saudi Arabia (53), United Arab Emirates (69), Iraq (70), Oman (75) and Uzbekistan (77) complete Asia’s top 10.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar are also fifth in the Arab world behind Morocco (22) Tunisia (30), Egypt (40) and Algeria (41).
With the 2022 World Cup just a little over four months away, the surge in rankings should come as a boost to Qatar who have returned into the top-50 fold after having slipped in February’s rankings. Qatar had ended 2021 on the 48th position.
The Felix Sanchez-coached Qatar national team is presently undergoing a conditioning camp in Marbella – a coastal city in Spain.
In March, Qatar played two home friendlies against Slovenia and Bulgaria following their participation at the FIFA Arab Cup 2021.
Qatar are in Group A of the World Cup where they will face European giants Netherlands, African champions Senegal and Ecuador.
The hosts will kick off their campaign against Ecuador on November 21 at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Brazil still numero uno
Brazil top the bill ahead of Belgium while Lionel Messi’s Argentina swapped places with world champions France who went down to fourth after failing to get a win in their recent four Nations League games.
England remain fifth, Spain moved into sixth at the expense of Euro champions Italy, the Netherlands climbed two into eighth, ahead of Portugal, with Denmark up one to complete the top 10.
Mexico meanwhile dropped out of the top 10, down three from ninth to 12th, behind Germany.
A total 280 matches were relevant for the latest national team rankings, with Kazakhstan the biggest climbers up 11 spots while Egypt and Nepal each lost eight places.
Between the final qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the UEFA and Concacaf Nations Leagues fixtures, the qualifiers for continental championships in Asia and Africa, and a host of friendly matches, there has been no shortage of international football since the last edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking in March. A total of 280 international fixtures took place during this period with significant ramifications in the Ranking: of the 211 countries listed in the global standings, 177 experienced movement.
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