WALES PLACE ABOVE ARCHRIVAL IN FIFA RANKING
2016 was a brilliant year for Wales, football-wise.
The country had a good campaign at the Euro 2016 hosted in France – reaching the semi-finals despite the odds. The Chris Coleman side were ranked 12th in the football world by the latest FIFA rankings, reports say. Their archrival England, who exited the European tournament in the round of 16, placed 13th to the delight of the Welsh side.
The Republic of Ireland place 23rd in the standings while Scotland are 67th, effectively making the Welsh side the most successful side in Britain in the past year – a huge feat for Wales.
Argentine ended the year in the number one spot, ahead of Brazil and Germany respectively. South American champions Chile placed 4th while Belgium – despite their stumbles all year – place 5th. Columbia take 6th, Euro 2016 hosts and finalist France placed 7th while eventual winners Portugal place 8th. Uruguay and Spain complete the top ten list.
Switzerland is ahead of Wales and England while Croatia, Poland, Italy, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Ecuador complete the top 20 footballing nations in the world for the year.
Many would say the Welsh side deserve their time in the spotlight after their magnificent run this campaign. Coleman would surely be basking in delight but the coming year pose even trickier challenges particularly if they want to prove it is not all fluff. The World Cup qualification would be a priority and getting the team to gel more throughout the year ahead of the 2018 year seems like the major obstacles the team would encounter in 2017.
Star player Gareth Bale in injured but is expected to return to full action soonest and return to form. Aaron Ramsey has been decent since his return to regular action and the rest of the first team have prioritised regular game time but the coming year would definitely be tough!