The impact of three recent major international tournaments – the OFC Nations Cup, Copa America Centenario and UEFA EURO 2016 – is certainly plain to see in a table in which Kosovo are ranked for the first time. A total of 228 ‘A’ internationals contributed to the new order, with those big events in Oceania, Europe and the Americas especially important in propelling nations upwards.
There was also some small consolation for France, Portugal’s vanquished final opponents, who were among several teams to profit from impressive EURO campaigns. While Les Bleus climbed ten places to a new position of seventh, Poland rose 11 to 16th and there were 12-place jumps for both Iceland and Croatia, who now sit 22nd and 15th respectively. Surprise semi-finalists Wales fared better still, picking up 291 ranking points – this month’s biggest tally - to advance 15 positions to 11th.
The Icelanders, meanwhile, are one of five teams to have reached their best-ever position in this latest table, along with Guinea-Bissau (75th, plus 40), St Kitts and Nevis (80th, plus 12), Kazakhstan (97th, plus 15) and Comoros (155th, plus 7). Yet despite all this activity, the ranking’s top five remains unchanged, with Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Germany and Chile – all of whom reached the latter stages of their respective tournaments – doing enough to hold off the pretenders below.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 11 August 2016.