Thursday 26 October 2023, 08:00

Argentina still in pole position, Venezuela back in top 50

  • Total of 165 international matches played in October

  • Movement in top ten, but podium remains unchanged

  • Lithuania are biggest climbers

No fewer than 165 international matches were contested earlier this month, with FIFA World Cup 26™ qualifiers, encounters in the preliminary rounds of continental competitions and Concacaf Nations League clashes among the highlights. These fixtures certainly made a mark, including on the latest edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

However, there are no changes in the top three. Argentina (1st) maintain a healthy lead (8.18 points) over their closest challengers, France. Meanwhile, Les Bleus have cemented their grip on second place, extending the gap (which now stands at 40.91 points) between themselves and Brazil(3rd). After being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Venezuela and succumbing to a 2-0 defeat away to Uruguay, A Seleção now have England (4th) breathing down their necks.

Ranking October 2023

Belgium continue to round out the top 5, but will also be looking over their shoulders, with a resurgent Portugal (6th, up 2)knocking on the door. Like their Iberian neighbours, Spain (8th, up 2)have also made strides – they are now hot on the heels of the Netherlands (7th). Next up come Italy (9th) and Croatia (10th, down 4), with the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ runners-up clinging onto their spot in the top ten despite their recent setbacks.

The sole CONMEBOL country never to have reached the FIFA World Cup™, Venezuela (49th, up 4) currently sit fourth in the qualifiers for the 2026 edition. La Vinotinto have returned to the world’s top 50 on the back of their continental form, taking the place of Côte d’Ivoire (52nd, down 2). Things are looking even rosier for Wales (28th, up 5) and Türkiye (38th, up 4). It is a similarly uplifting story for Belarus (100th, up 5), who are back inside the top 100, and Slovenia (54th, up 5).

Yet the biggest movers and shakers can be found further down the standings. For example, Kosovo (105th)have broken new ground, with a six-place jump taking them into their highest-ever position in the ranking. Bangladesh (183rd, up 6)will also be feeling buoyant, but the biggest climbers of all are Lithuania (134th, up 9).

Click here to view the full ranking.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 30 November.

LeaderArgentina (unchanged)
Moves into top 10none
Moves out of top 10none
Matches played in total165
Most matches playedNew Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu (3 matches)
Biggest move by pointsLithuania (up 26.27 points)
Biggest move by ranksLithuania (up 9 ranks)
Biggest drop by pointsCroatia (down 35.95 points)
Biggest drop by ranksFinland (down 8 ranks)
Newly ranked teamsNone
Teams that are no longer rankedNone
Inactive teams, not rankedAmerican Samoa, Eritrea, Samoa, Tonga