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Belgium edges France to end 2018 on top of FIFA rankings

December 20, 2018
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Chelsea's Eden Hazard, left, protects the Ball against Manchester City's Fernandinho during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London, Saturday Dec. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

ZURICH (AP) — Belgium ends 2018 atop FIFA’s rankings with World Cup winner France at No. 2.

FIFA says Belgium is a single ranking point — 1,727 to 1,726 — ahead of a French team which won their World Cup semifinal in Russia.

Brazil is No. 3 and World Cup runner-up Croatia is No. 4 in a mostly unchanged monthly ranking.

England and Portugal, which both qualified last month for the UEFA Nations League Final Four tournament, are Nos. 5 and 6.

Uruguay, Switzerland, Spain, and Denmark complete the top 10.

Iran at No. 29 will be the highest-ranked Asian team at the Asian Cup starting on Jan. 5.

Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host, is No. 93.

Senegal is Africa’s best team at No. 23.

Mexico leads CONCACAF region teams at No. 17 and the United States is No. 25.

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