Belgium set to top FIFA world rankings
Belgium are set to top the next FIFA world rankings due out in November thanks to their results in their final Euro 2016 qualifiers.
The most recent monthly chart placed Belgium, who are enjoying the emergence of a golden generation, in third behind current top-ranked nation Argentina and world champions Germany in second.
But Belgium have won their last two games, against Andorra and Israel, to finish top of their Euro 2016 qualifying group, while Germany lost to Ireland last week and Argentina lost to Ecuador and drew with Paraguay in recent South American World Cup qualifiers.
Belgium will therefore have 1,440 points, putting them top ahead of Germany on 1,388 while Argentina will drop to third on 1,383 when the next rankings are released on November 5.
The FIFA rankings have existed since 1993 but Belgium have never before topped them.
Back in 1986 Belgium went to the World Cup semi-finals, where they lost to Diego Maradona’s Argentina.
Coached by Marc Wilmots, who went to four World Cups himself as a player, the current crop made it as far as the quarter-finals in Brazil last year.
Star players include Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, Chelsea’s Premier League player of the year Eden Hazard and recent City signing Kevin De Bruyne.
Bookmakers currently offer Belgium as fourth favourites to win Euro 2016 behind Germany, hosts France and Spain.
Projection of how the Top 10 will look on November 5 (position change):
1. Belgium (+2)
3. Argentina (-2)
5. Chile (+4)
7. Colombia (-2)
8. Brazil (-1)
9. England (+1)
10. Austria (+1)