2020 FIFA World Cup Rankings: Can Belgium Sustain No. 1 Status?

FIFA World Cup 2018: Brazil vs Belgium - tactical analysis tactics

At the end of the day, Belgium is ranked No. 1. As the 2020 year winds down, Belgium remains the No. 1 ranked soccer team in the FIFA rankings. Belgium is followed by France, Brazil, England, and Portugal in the top-5 rankings. It will be the second straight year that Belgium is ranked No. 1, but how did this team get to this point?

Small Sample Size

Belgium remains at the top of the FIFA rankings with 1,765 points. France (1733) and Brazil (1712) are right in the mix. The rankings haven’t seen much change because soccer teams have not had that much of an opportunity to play. Due to the pandemic, there have been a small amount of international matches. There have only been 15 friendlies since late 2019, so it’s hard to tell who the best sports betting play is right now. 

World Cup 2022 Qatar has two more years left and plenty of games left to play for teams that are seeking a qualification bid. There is no end in sight for COVID-19; however, more soccer has been played compared to the start of the pandemic. The 2021 year should be the year we truly find out if Belgium is truly the No. 1 team in the world. Most recently, Belgium knocked off England, who owns the fourth-best ranking in the world. Before that, Belgium owns wins over Iceland, Switzerland, and Denmark. 

The Top-5

Portugal rose to No. 5 after sitting at No. 7 for the most of the 2020 season. Thanks to England’s loss to Belgium, Portugal, the UEFA Nations League champion, could rise as high as the top-4. Getting past Brazil is unlikely as the team has yet to play in 2020, so there is no reason for the team to drop now. France, the 2018 World Cup champion, remains at two. 

Spain, ranked at No. 6, is an intriguing option to crack the top-5. Spain has Germany, Sweden, and Poland on the upcoming schedule. If the Spaniards can get past the Germans, the team is poised to go on a three-game winning streak, which could greatly help their overall stock in the rankings. 

Other Talking Points

Only the top-10 highest ranked European teams will be top-seeded in groups. Currently, Germany is ranked No. 14, while Switzerland is ranked No. 15. In Africa, the top-ranked nation is Senegal at No. 20, while Japan leads the Asian teams at No. 28. The highly talked about United States team is ranked at No. 22. 

Thirty-two teams play in the World Cup, so there is plenty of room for teams to reposition themselves. Some teams on the outside of the rankings include Russia, Iceland, Australia, Norway, and Ghana. Luckily, there are still plenty of games left to be played. The same goes for the top ranking. Belgium has never won a World Cup championship since the tournament began in 1930. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for the team to make a dent in their country’s legacy.