It’s FIFA’s favorite time of the month and things aren’t looking as good for Croatia as they did last month.
FIFA published their latest ranking on Thursday, September 14, 2017, with some rather unpleasant news for fans of Croatian football.
Our national team, who clocked in two subpar performances at the start of September in their World Cup qualifying matches against Kosovo and Turkey, has fallen two spots on the world ranking. Currently, Croatia stands as the 18th best football nation in the world.
In the last FIFA ranking published on August 10, 2017, Croatia held a somewhat comfortable 16th place, and the month before that, in July, we were ranked 15th! Let’s hope the Croatian national team does not continue on this downward spiral – fortunately, we do have two upcoming national team matches at the start of October where we can (and must) redeem ourselves.
If it makes Croatian fans feel any better, there have been some changes at the top of the FIFA ranking, forcing Germany in the number one spot, again, and kicking Brazil into a cozy second. Portugal has moved up three spots to find themselves in third, and Argentina has moved down one for fourth. Belgium has taken a great leap forward, moving up four spots as the current fifth best in the world, and Poland, Switzerland, France, Chile, and Colombia make up the remaining top 10.
In Croatia’s World Cup qualifying group, Iceland has moved down two places to 22, Ukraine up three places to 24, Turkey up an impressive six places to 27, and Finland up an even more impressive 23 places for 87. Kosovo, however, has moved down four places to 184.
Fortunately, Croatia remains in the top 20 with 977 total points, and just ahead of them is our neighbor Italy in 19th with 1035 points.
Croatia has two vital World Cup qualifiers at the start of October. The team will face Finland on October 6, 2017, at City Garden Stadium in Osijek, and the defining match of the group, and quite literally Croatia’s fate, will be determined in the game against Ukraine in Ukraine on October 9, 2017.
Croatia currently stands at the top of their World Cup qualifying Group I with 16 points.