Brazil will enter the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as the number one ranked team in the world.  The five-time champions not only held on to the top spot, but they actually widened the gap on second-placed Belgium.

Recent international friendlies and UEFA Nations League games impacted the new FIFA world rankings released on Thursday.  In all, there were 119 total international friendlies and 53 UEFA Nations Leagues matches that were taken into account.  

Brazil number one in World rankings

Brazil strengthened their hold on the number one position due to victories against Ghana and Tunisia during the latest international break.  The South American giants have now not lost a match since the 2021 Copa America final against rivals Argentina.

The United States men’s national team dropped down to 16th in the rankings.  Previously 14th, the Americans fell due to disappointing displays against Japan and Saudi Arabia.  Gregg Berhalter’s team will stagger into the upcoming World Cup having won just once in their last five matches.  The lone victory was a 5-0 thumping of 173rd-ranked Granada in June.

Group B of the World Cup will be a fairly tough test for the USMNT.  The Americans will face England, Wales, and Iran in an effort to move on to the knockout rounds.  On paper, it will be one of the most competitive groups in the tournament.  In fact, Group B is the only group in which every team is currently ranked inside the top 20.

England, one of the favorites to win the tournament, is currently ranked fifth by FIFA.  Wales and Iran are ranked 19th and 20th respectively.  The USMNT begin their World Cup against Wales on November 21st in Qatar.

The biggest movers in the new rankings happen to be teams that will not feature at the 2022 World Cup.  Scotland (40th) and Azerbaijan (123rd) both moved up five spots since the last rankings were released.  Norway fell the most spots as they went from 36th to 42nd in the rankings.

Photo credit: IMAGO / MN Press Photo.