Posted on December 20, 2019

Qatar made the biggest move up FIFA’s world rankings in 2019, while Belgium emerged the Team of the Year for the second successive time, details showed.

Qatar, the FIFA World Cup 2022 hosts, gained an impressive 138 points over the course of a year in which they won the AFC Asian Cup and made a strong start to the Asian Zone World Cup qualifiers. Besides accumulating the biggest point haul, Qatar have also jumped a year-high 38 places, followed closely by fellow climbers Algeria (up 32 ranks) and Japan (up 22 ranks).

The Qataris won 16, drew two and lost seven of those 25 matches. Their biggest success came in early 2019 when they became Asian champions by defeating Japan 3-1 in the final of the AFC Asian Cup. What is more, no team improved its ranking position more than Qatar in 2019 (up 38 ranks). Belgium have held on to top spot in a December table barely impacted by just 19 friendlies towards the end of a year in which 1,082 international “A” matches have been played – an all-time high since the ranking’s 1993 inception.

source: The Peninsula