GENEVA, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- FIFA released the men's football world rankings on Thursday for the first time in five months with Belgium leading an unchanged top four.
After a more than six months hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, international matches have finally recommenced with UEFA Nations League games across Europe at the beginning of September, which had an immediate impact on the world ranking.
But there has been no change among the leading quartet - Belgium, France, Brazil and England remain the top four in that order. Portugal has moved into the top five thanks to victories over Croatia (8th, down two) and Sweden (18th, down one).
Other countries moving in the right direction are Spain (7th, up one), Italy (12th, up one), the Netherlands (13th, up one), and Germany (14th, up one), with each gaining one place in the global classification.
Russia had the biggest gain in this edition, climbing six places up to 32nd courtesy of wins over Serbia (31st, down two) and Hungary (52nd, unchanged).
Japan is the highest ranked team in Asia, remaining 28th, while China is in 76th place.
Despite not playing, Iran (30th, up three) moved into the top 30 after Serbia and Turkey (32nd, down three) dropped points.