Brazil will head to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as the top-ranked team of the tournament after extending their lead over second-placed Belgium, the latest Fifa rankings released on Thursday show.
Brazil won their two warmup games in September — against Ghana and Tunisia — while Belgium lost to the Netherlands in one of their two Nations League games.
Argentina remain third and 2018 World Cup champions France are ranked fourth.
World Cup hosts Qatar will be the 50th-ranked team, just ahead of No 51 Saudi Arabia. Ghana will be the lowest ranked team in the tournament at No 61.
Group B at the World Cup is the strongest by rankings with all four teams in the top 20: fith-ranked England, No 16 United States, No 19 Wales and No 20 Iran.
Italy rose one place to sixth and are the highest-ranked team that failed to qualify for the World Cup, missing back-to-back editions having won the European Championship in between. Spain fell one place to seventh, with the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark unchanged to complete the top 10.
Germany, the 2014 champions, are ranked 11th, just ahead of 2018 finalists Croatia.
Russia, meanwhile, rose two places to 33rd despite not playing a recognised game in 2022 because the national team has been suspended following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.