ZURICH, Switzerland Ė Qatar shot up FIFAís first rankings list of the year to 55th place following the teamís stunning victory in the Asian Cup, soccerís world governing body said on Thursday.
The newly-crowned Asian champions, who beat Japan 3-1 in the final in Abu Dhabi last week, soared 38 places to its highest ranking since 1993.
Qatar, which will make its first ever FIFA World Cup finals appearance in 2022 after qualifying automatically as the host, took the continentís premier tournament by storm last month, scoring 19 goals and conceding just once on the way to the countryís first ever Asian Cup win.
Several other Asian nations have also risen up the rankings following the tournament in the United Arab Emirates, as the continent boosted its representatives in the top 50 with four teams, up from the last published rankings list.
Iran remains Asiaís highest ranked team in 22nd, ahead of Japan in 27th, which is up from 50th position, while South Korea improved 15 places to 38th.
UAE, which reached the last four of the Asian Cup before being humiliated 4-0 by the eventual champion, improved by 12 places to 67th overall, while Jordan also rose 12 positions to 97th in the world.
Vietnam, which lost to the Blue Samurai of Japan in the last eight, was the best placed Southeast Asian nation, just breaking into the top 100 in 99th place.
Thailand was up three places to 115th, while the Philippines fell seven spots to 123rd overall.
Belgium, last summerís third placed team at the World Cup in Russia, remains atop FIFAís rankings, one point ahead of world champion France in second and Brazil in third.
World Cup finalist Croatia was fourth, one place ahead of England, which enjoyed its best tournament finish in 28 years by reaching the semifinals last summer in Russia.
Mexico, in 17th place, is the only team in the top 20 from outside Europe or South America.Top 20:
- Belgium, 1,727
- France, 1,726
- Brazil, 1,676
- Croatia, 1,634
- England, 1,631
- Portugal, 1,614
- Uruguay, 1,609
- Switzerland, 1,599
- Spain, 1,591
- Denmark, 1,589
- Argentina, 1,582
- Colombia, 1,575
- Chile, 1,565
- Sweden, 1,560
- Netherlands, 1,560
- Germany, 1,558
- Mexico, 1,540
- Italy, 1,539
- Wales, 1,525
- Poland, 1,518