KYLIAN MBAPPE’S hat-trick denied Argentina top spot in the Fifa rankings – despite their World Cup final shootout joy.
Lionel Messi has finally added World Cup final joy to his haul of fame as Argentina beat France on penalties in Qatar on SundayRichard Pelham / The Sun
That won’t be any consolation to the history-making striker as Lionel Messi inspired Argentina’s ultimate triumph in one of the greatest ever finals, clinched 4-2 win on penalties.
And for now it won’t mean much either to Brazil, who are still smarting from their shock quarter-final shootout loss to Croatia.
Meanwhile, England remain in fifth spot following their agonising last-eight exit to the French and Wales drop out of the top 20.
Qatar kings Argentina moved up to second in the rankings, with France rising to third and Belgium’s ageing golden generation dropping two places to fourth following their surprise exit at the group stage.
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Perhaps the biggest surprise – at least if you judge by tradition and not by performances – is Germany slumping to 14th.
An opening 2-1 defeat to Japan proved costly as they departed Qatar at the group phase on goal difference.
In contrast, Japan would have climbed even higher than 20th in the Fifa rankings had they not lost to Croatia in a last-16 shootout.
And Morocco shot up from 22nd to 12th after becoming the first Arab and African World Cup semi-finalists.
INTERNATIONAL TOP 20
Brazil, Argentina and France remain in the top four – but Belgium almost drop out if it after their poor World Cup.
New FIFA Ranking top 20: 1. Brazil 2. Argentina 3. France 4. Belgium 5. England 6. Netherlands 7. Croatia 8. Italy 9. Portugal 10. Spain 11. Morocco 12. Switzerland 13. USA 14. Germany 15. Mexico 16. Uruguay 17. Colombia 18. Denmark 19. Senegal 20. Japan
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Sunday’s epic final coincided with the FA confirming Gareth Southgate will stay in charge of the Three Lions.
The 52-year-old reviewed his position after his latest near miss in a major tournament.
But on Sunday FA CEO Mark Bullingham said in a statement: “We are delighted to confirm that Gareth Southgate is continuing as England manager, and will lead our Euro 2024 campaign.
“Gareth and Steve Holland have always had our full support, and our planning for the Euros starts now.”