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Fifa rankings: Women’s World Cup winners Spain reach top spot as England stay fourth

Spain had never gone beyond the last-16 stage at a Women’s World Cup prior to lifting the trophy in 2023

Women’s World Cup winners Spain have reached the top of the Fifa rankings for the first time as England remain fourth.

Spain beat England 1-0 in the World Cup final in August and become the fourth team to hold the ranking top spot.

Previous leaders Sweden drop to fifth, with the USA up one spot to second and France climbing two into third.

Scotland slide two places to 25th with Wales dropping three spots to 32nd, while Northern Ireland are 46th.

Germany, the Netherlands and Japan hold on to their places in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively, with North Korea sitting ninth and Canada completing the top 10.

Brazil, who failed to get out of the group stage at this year’s World Cup for the first time since 1995, lose their place in the top 10 after falling two places to 11th.

Two nations added to rankings

With the women’s game gaining further attention on the international stage and 419 matches played since the previous update in August, two nations are included for the first time.

The listexternal-link boasts a record 192 nations and is likely to grow again with the next update in March, with six other national sides just one match away from joining.

Central African Republic enter the rankings at 145th and Macau make their debut at 173rd, while North Korea (ninth), American Samoa (147th), Madagascar (188th) and Bahamas (189th) all reappear.

North Korea had dropped out of the rankings completely in March after failing to play a single international game during a four-year period because of the outbreak of the Covid pandemic. After beating Italy on penalties in March 2019, they returned to action in September 2023 and have won 10 of their 12 fixtures since, drawing one and losing one.

Namibia are December’s biggest climbers by rank, moving up 14 places to 126th, with Tanzania the biggest movers by points – up 68.24 to 146th.

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