MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. Russia has climbed from 49th to 46th place in the FIFA rating, according to the renewed version of the rankings published on the FIFA official website.
Russia secured two wins in the September matches. In the opening match of the Nations League, Russians won over Turkey (2-1) and defeated the Czech Republic in a friendly match (5-1), amassing 1423 points.
"Belgium have climbed to the top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, alongside 2018 FIFA World Cup™ winners France, which means that the top spot is currently being shared for the first time in the table’s 25-year history. A pair of wins for the Red Devils (1st, up 1), including their first in the UEFA Nations League over Iceland (36th, down 4), has brought them level with Les Bleus (1st, unchanged) on 1729 points. The only other change in the top ten sees Denmark (10th, down 1) slip below Spain (9th, unchanged)," FIFA reported.
In June’s ranking, Russia occupied a record-low 70th place. In a home match, Russia qualified for the quarterfinals, where it lost to Croatia (2-2, 3-4 - penalty).
The next rating will be released on October 25. At its next match scheduled for October 11, Russia will take on Sweden in Kaliningrad in the Nations League and go up against Turkey in Sochi on October 14.
Two years of abysmal lows
From February to October 2016, Russia had tumbled from 23rd to 56th place (with the worst ranking seen in 1998 at 40th). The team then renewed the abysmal lows several times. The squad managed to improve its position just a few times, which was hardly noticeable, as it only inched up one or two positions at most.
It was mainly because the team did not play in official matches for two years, save the Confederations Cup. In light of this, its rating was repeatedly criticized as not reflecting the real lineup in world football. A host country of the World Cup or European Championships actually found itself in an undoubtedly losing position, because for two years it was only able to carry out friendly matches, which had an insignificant value in the rating.
After the 2018 FIFA World Cup, FIFA changed its scoring system, so the July rating was not published at all. The change was caused by the appearance of the Nations League - a new tournament of the Union of European Football Associations aimed at replacing the friendly system. This new arrangement was also introduced, so that the teams hosting the World Cup or any other large tournament lost their positions in the rating slower, since victories over strong teams, even in friendly matches, now receive a higher number of points.