Belgium needs to beat Ireland to keep No.1 FIFA ranking following Brazil’s trouncing of Chile

Belgium needs to beat Ireland to keep No.1 FIFA ranking following Brazil’s trouncing of Chile
Credit: Belga

Brazil’s 4-0 trouncing of Chile in a football World Cup qualifier on Thursday means Belgium needs a win in its friendly against Ireland on Saturday 26 March to remain No.1 in FIFA rankings, Belga News Agency reports.

However, "that’s no longer so important,” says Red Devils coach Roberto Martinez. Preparing for the World Cup and integrating new players are much more essential right now, he told the press on Friday.

Belgium’s football squad has remained at the top of the world rankings for the past four years, a feat Martinez described as a “tremendous achievement” that proves the team’s consistency. “After the World Cup in 2018, it was a real objective to become No. 1 in the world,” he said, “but now it’s not an objective. We’ve got bigger goals, which are developing the squad and trying to work and get us as prepared as we can for the World Cup.”

“That’s why I’m trying to integrate other players,” the Red Devil's coach explained.

“To be number one for four years is a tremendous achievement, only Brazil and Spain have had a longer period," he added.

The FIFA rankings for the end of March will be used in the World Cup Draw in Qatar on the 1st of April, at which the groups will be determined. The Red Devils have been sure, for some time now, of being in Pot 1, made up of the top seven teams in the FIFA rankings, plus hosts Qatar.


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