GENEVA, May 7. /TASS/. The Russian national football team moved five places up to the 27th position in monthly ranking lists of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), published on Thursday.
The 2014 World Cup winners, Germany, maintained the reign in the rankings of the best national football squads and they are followed by Argentina and Belgium in the second and third places respectively.
Russia is occupying the 27th position with 828 points and the five-place climb against the previous ranking list owes to its 2016 UEFA Euro Cup qualifier against Montenegro on March 27, when the Montenegrin team was handed out a 3-0 technical defeat over their fans misconduct during the match.
The top ten ranking list of FIFA has remained unchanged from the previous month and is as follows: Germany (1,687 points), Argentina (1,494), Belgium (1,457), Colombia (1,412), Brazil (1,372), The Netherlands (1,301), Portugal (1,221), Uruguay (1,176), Switzerland (1,135) and Spain (1,132).
Two weeks ago Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said he dearly hoped that the national football squad would make a comeback to the top six world teams. The last time Russia was in the top-six of FIFA rankings was in 2009. In 1999 the Russian football was the third best, according to FIFA rankings.
The Russian national squad experienced a string of setbacks over the past decade failing to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and 2010 championship in South Africa to the great dismay of the Russian football fans.
Things changed when Italian phenomenon Capello took over the team as the head coach in July of 2012 and managed to help the Russian national squad to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The team, nevertheless, failed to clear the first stage of the much-anticipated global tournament putting their coach in the center of stern criticism and raising serious concerns in the country about the team’s performance in the next World Cup, which would be hosted by Russia in 2018.
However, Russia did not severe the contract with Capello after the Russian team’s performance at the World Cup in Brazil and the Italian manager also decided to stay with the Russian squad as the head coach until the year of 2018 as stipulated by the contract terms.