Socceroos Mile Jedinak leads the team out at the World Cup
Socceroos Mile Jedinak leads the team out at the World Cup

Freefall: Socceroos plummet in rankings after WC nightmare

THE Socceroos have fallen seven spots to world no. 43 in the latest FIFA rankings after a disappointing World Cup campaign.

The Aussies are no longer Asia's top team, with Iran leapfrogging them to land in 32nd.

While World Cup champion France are at the top for the first time in 16 years.

France beat Croatia 4-2 last month for its second World Cup title, and jumped six places to reclaim the No. 1 spot it last held in May 2002. Belgium, which lost to France in the semifinals, moved up one place to second on the list, published Thursday.

Graham Arnold takes over as Socceroos boss
Graham Arnold takes over as Socceroos boss

Brazil, beaten by Belgium in the quarterfinals, fell to third while Croatia climbed 16 places to fourth to equal its best ranking from five years ago. World Cup quarterfinalist Uruguay jumped nine spots to fifth and semifinalist England moved to sixth from 12th.

Host Russia kicked off the tournament as the lowest-ranked of the 32 teams. But an unexpected run to the quarterfinals, where it lost to Croatia on penalties, pushed it up 21 places to 49th.

Previous champion Germany's surprise elimination from the group stage dropped it from first to 15th.


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