x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

UAE rise to 63rd in Fifa world rankings as Spain continue at top spot

The UAE have climbed to No 63 in the Fifa rankings, the country’s highest position in the world football order since August 2002.

Omar Abdulrahman and his UAE teammates have climbed to 63rd in the Fifa world rankings. Mike Young / The National
Omar Abdulrahman and his UAE teammates have climbed to 63rd in the Fifa world rankings. Mike Young / The National

The UAE have climbed to No 63 in the Fifa rankings, the country’s highest position in the world football order since August 2002.

The national side rose eight places from their final 2013 ranking despite not contesting a match.

Mahdi Ali’s team last played an official match on November 19 when they routed Vietnam 5-0 at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium to clinch a place in the 2015 Asian Cup.

The victory completed a year in which the UAE did not lose in 13 matches – 12 victories and a shoot-out win over Trinidad & Tobago after a 3-3 tie in the OSN Cup.

Spain remain the world No 1 as the top 25 did not change.

The UAE were ranked No 59, in August of 2002, then fell to 69 a month later. Several years of drift followed, with a bottoming out at No 138 in January 2012, following a disastrous 2014 World Cup campaign. But in the two years since the national side have gained 75 places.

The UAE, who share No 63 with Israel, are ranked above every team in the Asian federation aside from the four headed to the Brazil World Cup: Iran (34), Japan (48), South Korea (53) and Australia (56).

The UAE’s next official match is an Asian Cup qualifier away to Uzbekistan on March 5.

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