October 2021 was a busy month in international football, with qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, friendlies, and the final rounds of the UEFA Nations League all on the agenda.
Zurich, Switzerland: October 2021 was a busy month in international football, with qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, friendlies, and the final rounds of the UEFA Nations League all on the agenda. A total of 160 fixtures were played, the impact of which can be seen on the FIFA Rankings.
Though their lead is now under threat, Belgium remains on top despite UEFA Nations League defeats to France (3rd, +1) and Italy (4th, +1). Among the top five, only Les Bleus and Gli Azzurri have improved their positions. India has also moved one spot ahead to the 106th position after the Sunil Chhetri-led side won the SAFF Championship. The Blue Tigers had defeated Nepal in the summit clash.
Brazil remain second but are breathing down the neck of Belgium, just 12 points behind. England, meanwhile, dropped two places to fifth.
"A little further down, Spain's (7th, +1) progress at the expense of Portugal (8th, -1) is also noteworthy, as is that of Germany (12th, +2), who leapfrog USA (13th). Uruguay lost most ground among the top 20 by dropping three places to 15th," read an official FIFA statement.
It is after that, however, where we find some of the most significant movers on this edition. Morocco (29th, +4), Russia (33rd, +4), Egypt (44th, +4), Saudi Arabia (49th, +7) and South Africa (66th, +7) all made strides on the back of two wins from two this month in Qatar 2022 qualifying.
Two nations in the second half of the table fared even better, with New Zealand (111, +10) and Indonesia (165, +10) the joint-biggest movers this month, ahead of Central African Republic (115, +9) and Cambodia (170, +8).