Belgium crowned FIFA's Team of the Year for third consecutive-year
Belgium have been named as FIFA's Team of the Year for the third consecutive time. The Red Devils, who won six of their eight matches in 2020, retained the top spot in the Coca-Cola World Ranking. The likes of France (second), Brazil (third) and England (fourth) also retained their respective rankings. Here is more on the same.
The only change in the top-five as compared to 2019 is the appearance of Portugal on number five. Others on the standings are Spain (sixth) and Argentina (seventh). Both the nations moved up two places as compared to the last year. Uruguay (eighth) have plunged, however, they remain in the Top 10. Meanwhile, Mexico and Italy occupy ninth and 10th place respectively.
Only 352 international matches took place in 2020 as the calendar was marred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paradoxically, the previous year saw a total of 1,082 full internationals, the biggest number since the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking was introduced in 1993.
It is interesting to note that Hungary (40th) progressed the most in 2020. They gained a total of 44 points and 12 places, which allowed them to end the year in the Top 50. Having played eight matches, the Magyars lost just once (to Russia). With a series of wins, they secured a berth at UEFA Euro 2020 for the second successive edition.
Other nations who gained big this year are Ecuador (56th), Malta (176th), and Equatorial Guinea (134th). Besides, Burundi (138th) accumulated 29 points and made the most significant move in terms of places (with a jump of 13 places).
The Indian men's football team retained the 104th spot (1,187 points) along with Kenya on the standings. At the AFC event, Team India finished on number four in Group E, having remained win-less. They lost two and managed to draw three games.
The hosts of FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar (58th), also surged in the Rankings, following their 5-0 victory over Bangladesh (186th) in the AFC qualifying fixture. Also, Ethiopia (146th), Djibouti (184th) and Dominica (184th) advanced one place and will be hoping to capitalize on the progress. Notably, the next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be released on February 18, 2021.