QSPORTS (ESPNFC.com) Argentina will remain the No. 1 nation when the new FIFA World Ranking is published on Oct. 20.
Argentina failed to win either of their games over the past week, drawing 2-2 in Peru and losing 1-0 at home to Paraguay to leave them in trouble in the South American World Cup qualifying group.
But Edgardo Bauza’s side already had a healthy advantage at the top of the ranking, though their lead has been cut considerably from 277 points to 156.
Germany move back into second place after wins over Czech Republic and Northern Ireland, while Brazil re-enter the top three for the first time in two years after beating Bolivia and Venezuela.
Belgium‘s time near the top of the ranking is at an end despite big victories over Bosnia-Herzegovina and Gibraltar, as they fall two places to fourth.
The rest of the top 20 has seen few changes, though Euro 2016 finalists France slip above Portugal into seventh and Spain edge back into the top 10 by swapping places with Wales.
Netherlands return to the top 20 even though they won only one of their two World Cup qualifiers, up four from 24th.
Iceland have climbed back up the ranking to an all-time high of 21st, with Iran up 10 places to 27th as Asia’s top nation.
Mexico remain the best team from CONCACAF, but drop two places to 17th, with Costa Rica unchanged in 18th and United States down two to 24th.
Ivory Coast take over as the No. 1 nation in Africa, up four places to 31st, with Senegal climbing eight to 32nd. Algeria, who were the top ranked team from the continent, drop one place to 35th.
NEW FIFA RANKING TOP 20
18 Costa Rica
Dale Johnson has been an editor and journalist at ESPN for 17 years. You can follow him on Twitter @dalejohnsonESPN.