Soccer-England rise to third in FIFA rankings, target top spot


Soccer Football - Euro 2024 Qualifier - England Press Conference - Tose Proeski Arena, Skopje, North Macedonia - November 19, 2023 England manager Gareth Southgate during a press conference Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra/ File photo

LONDON (Reuters) - England have returned to third in the FIFA men's world rankings after cruising through their Euro 2024 qualification campaign with Brazil falling out of the top four.

It is the equal highest position England have achieved in FIFA's standings and head coach Gareth Southgate has made reaching top spot a priority for his players.

"We're two places off where we need to be," Southgate said earlier this month in anticipation of returning to third where England were in 2021. "Am I driven by being ranked number one? Yes, because ultimately you achieve that through consistency."

World champions Argentina remain at the top with France second and Belgium in fourth spot.

Back-to-back defeats by Colombia and Argentina have seen Brazil drop down to fifth place.

Switzerland dropped four places to 18th while the biggest risers were the Comoros Islands who jumped nine spots to 119th after notable wins against Central African Republic and Ghana.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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