Top 4 finish to year for Matildas while Socceroos jump 4 spots
The Matildas reach their highest ever level in the women's rankings and the Socceroos jump to 39th16 December 2017 | FT Editor
It was good news for the end of the year for both Australia teams from the often-maligned FIFA rankings.
The Australia's women's team, the Matildas, have finished 2017 on a high by climbing two spots to fourth best team in the world in the final FIFA rankings for 2017, while the men's team, the Socceroos, climbed four places to finish 39th.
This is the highest placing ever for the Matildas, who have reached a top 5 spot for the first time on the back of a match-winning run against USA, Japan, Brazil and China.
The only three teams above the Matildas are those with whom FFA was reported earlier in the week to be negotiating over fixtures. The USA finished the year as the best women's team for the third year in succession, with Germany second and England third. Germany's surprise loss to Iceland (ranked 20th) not only meant they missed the possibility of finishing the year on top, but it also narrowed the gap between them and England. Canada is ranked 5th.
Australia is one of two teams from Asia in the top 10, with Japan ranked 9th. North Korea slipped one spot to 11th.
Other big movers in the women's rankings were Spain (up 4 to 13th), the Republic of Ireland (up 4 to 29th) and - at the other end - Kosovo (up 8 to 97th).
In the men's rankings, the top men's teams were a familiar hue with Germany on top followed by Brazil, Portugal, Argentina and Belgium.
Australia's lift in the rankings was the best out of the top men's teams in Asia, and puts Australia second in Asia behind Iran whose ranking climbed to 32. Japan and Korea are the third and fourth highest ranked teams in Asia.
The other World Cup qualifier from the confederation, Saudi Arabia, is ranked as the sixth best team behind China.
Germany, Brazil and France are the only three countries to have both their men's and women's teams in the top 10 in the world.
The respective top 10s are:
socceroos, matildas, fifa world rankings