World Cup champion France is at the top of the FIFA rankings for the first time in 16 years.

By Associated Press
August 16, 2018

ZURICH (AP) – World Cup champion France is at the top of the FIFA rankings for the first time in 16 years.

France beat Croatia 4-2 last month for its second World Cup title, and jumped six places to reclaim the No. 1 spot it last held in May 2002.

Belgium, which lost to France in the semifinals, moved up one place to second on the list, published Thursday.

Brazil, beaten by Belgium in the quarterfinals, fell to third while Croatia climbed 16 places to fourth to equal its best ranking from five years ago.

World Cup quarterfinalist Uruguay jumped nine spots to fifth and semifinalist England moved to sixth from 12th.

Host Russia kicked off the tournament as the lowest-ranked of the 32 teams. But an unexpected run to the quarterfinals, where it lost to Croatia on penalties, pushed it up 21 places to 49th.

Previous champion Germany's surprise elimination from the group stage dropped it from first to 15th.

Italy has fallen out of the top 20, landing at 21, one place ahead of the USA. Mexico is Concacaf's highest-ranked team at 16th.

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