Friday 29 March 2019, 08:55

England, Japan climb as USA retain pole

England have leapfrogged France into third position in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s Ranking - the last edition ahead of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup™.

The in-form Lionesses (3rd, up1) swapped places with Les Bleues (4th, down 1) on the back of winning the SheBelieves Cup earlier this month and, in doing so, struck the latest blow in an increasingly long-running battle. This, in fact, is the fourth successive ranking in which England and France have exchanged positions behind the leading duo of USA (1st, unchanged) and Germany (2nd, unchanged).

Besides the recent friendly tournaments, it has been a fairly quiet period in international women’s football since the ranking’s most recent edition in December 2018. The result is that the only other change in the top ten is Japan (7th, up 1) overtaking the Netherlands (8th, down 1), largely as a result of the European champions’ poor showing at the Algarve Cup.

Further down the table, Poland (28th, up 6) are the biggest climbers after a surprising run to the Algarve Cup final, while Belgium (20th, up 1) and Portugal (30th, up 2) reached their highest-ever positions.

There was a milestone, too, for the ranking itself. With five teams, including four from Asia, reappearing in the table and only two dropping out, the number of teams ranked has increased from 152 to 155 - an all-time record.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking will be published on 12 July 2019.

LeaderUSA (unchanged)
Moved into top tenNone
Moves out of top tenNone
Matches played in total155
Most matches played India (13)
Biggest move by points England (plus 28)
Biggest move by ranks Poland (28th, up 6)
Biggest drop by points IR Iran (minus 31)
Biggest drop by ranksIR Iran (66th, down 6), United Arab Emirates (98th, down 6)
Newly ranked teams (re-entries unless otherwise stated) Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Bhutan
Teams no longer ranked due to prolonged inactivity Azerbaijan, Mauritius