Argentina will end the year at the top of the FIFA rankings after world football’s governing body published the last update of 2016.
The South American side, who finished as runners-up at the Copa América Centenario in the United States in June, have been at the summit of the standings since overtaking Belgium in April.
They have held top spot for eight editions of the rankings and won 10 of their 15 games this year, losing three times and drawing twice.
One of their draws came in the final of the centenary edition of the Copa América as their clash with Chile ended 0-0 after extra time.
Chile won the title for the second consecutive year after emerging victorious on penalties.
Argentina have 1,634 points at the top of the rankings, 90 in front of fierce South American rivals Brazil.
Germany occupy third, narrowly in front of Chile.
It has not been a straightforward year for the sport in Argentina, however, as the country’s football association was taken over by a FIFA Normalisation Committee in June in the wake of accusations of mismanagement of match broadcasting funds.
Argentina, led by Edgardo Bauza, are also the ninth-best movers on the rankings for 2016.
France took the honours for the best movers on the list, awarded to the country that gained the most ranking points since December of last year.
The French team also tasted defeat in their quadrennial continental competition as they lost 1-0 to Portugal in the final of the UEFA European Championships on home soil in Paris.
France are seventh in the final ranking update for 2016, behind Colombia in sixth and Belgium in fifth.
Other nations who have made impressive moves on the list include Guinea-Bissau who have jumped 78 places to 68th since December 2015.
With only 15 men’s international top-tier games played since the release of the last ranking, there have been few significant changes, with no movement in the top 10.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.