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Soccer France tops FIFA rankings after World Cup victory; Germany falls to 15th

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris lifts the trophy after France won the World Cup final against Croatia in Moscow, Russia, on July 15, 2018.

Martin Meissner/The Canadian Press

World Cup winner France tops the FIFA rankings for the first time in 16 years.

France beat Croatia 4-2 last month for its second World Cup title and jumped up six places to reclaim the No. 1 spot it last held in May, 2002.

Belgium, which lost to France in the semi-final, moves up one place to second on the list published on Thursday by soccer’s governing body.

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Brazil, beaten by Belgium in the quarter-final, fell one to third. Croatia climbed 16 places to fourth to equal its best ranking from five years ago.

World Cup quarter-finalist 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 quarter-finals, where it lost to Croatia on penalties, pushed it up 21 places to 49th.

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

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