The large number of qualifying fixtures for continental competitions (26 matches) and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ (61 matches) over September is reflected in significant movement in the latest edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
Despite the shifts up and down the ranking, however, Argentina and Belgium remain fixed in first and second place respectively, cementing their positions at the summit of the World Ranking for another month.
A little further down, Uruguay (9, up 3) and Wales (10, up 1) muscled their way into the top ten at the expense of Spain (11, down 3) and Italy (13, down 3).
While Brazil are the month’s biggest points scorers, Bolivia climbed furthest (75, up 35), followed by Malawi (99, up 28), Faroe Islands (111, up 24) and the Dominican Republic (114, up 24)
Newcomers to world stage
The two most recent member associations to join FIFA, Gibraltar and Kosovo, participated in their first ever World Cup preliminary matches in September. With only two A-games to their name in ranking history, Kosovo (168, up 22) were the fifth-biggest climbers this month. In contrast, Gibraltar (205) secured no points from their two matches, the first of which was against newly crowned European champions Portugal (7, down 1).
This month, the following teams reached their best ever position on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking: Guinea-Bissau (73, up 2), St Kitts and Nevis (77, up 4), Kazakhstan (83, up 13), Comoros (152, up 3), and Kosovo (168, up 22).
A notable mention goes to the four teams breaking into the top 50: Scotland (44, up 7), Australia (45, up 12), Greece (48, up 4), and Uzbekistan (49, up 6).
A total of 126 international A-matches were played over the past few weeks, bringing the total number of games for the 2016 to 632.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 20 October 2016.
Moves into top ten
Wales (10, up 1), Uruguay (9, up 3)
Moves out of top ten
Spain (11, down 3), Italy (13th, down 3)
Matches played in total
Most matches played
Qatar (5 games)
Biggest move by points
Brazil (up 167 points)
Biggest move by ranks
Bolivia (up 35)
Biggest drop by points
Finland (down 131 points)
Biggest drop by ranks
Central African Republic (down 35)
Newly ranked teams