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ESPN FC  By Dale Johnson

Argentina top of FIFA World Ranking as Chile climb to record high of third

Argentina will return to the top of the FIFA World Ranking when the new standings are released in April, while Chile move up to a highest-ever position of third.

Gerardo Martino's side secured victories over Chile and Bolivia in World Cup qualifying which, when coupled with Belgium not being in competitive action, means they are back on top with 1,532 points.

Belgium have been in first place since November, but will drop to second on 1,352 points.

All South American nations had an advantage this month, with CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers being weighted considerably more than international friendlies.

This allowed Copa America holders Chile to move above both Spain and Germany into third, up from their previous all-time best of fifth. 

Messi Higuain celeb vs Bolivia 160329
Argentina celebrate after Lionel Messi scored against Bolivia on Tuesday.

Colombia are also big climbers, wins over Bolivia and Ecuador sending them up four places to fourth, one place lower than their own record high.

Despite being world champions, Germany's form since their victory in Brazil has been patchy which has seen them slowly drop down, and they are now fifth -- their lowest rank for six years.

Spain slump three places into sixth, while the only new entry into the top 10 is Uruguay who are up two to ninth. England just manage to hold on to their place.

Turkey are the biggest climbers in the top 20, up seven places to 13th which is their best position since 2009. Mexico are up six to 16th, Costa Rica rise eight to 25th, while the United States will remain in 30th.

Wales, in the top 10 in the second half of 2015, drop another seven places to 24th. France are still outside the top 20 in 21st, but are up three places.

The new ranking is officially published by FIFA on April 7.

New FIFA Ranking top 20:
1.  Argentina
2.  Belgium
3.  Chile
4.  Colombia
5.  Germany
6.  Spain
7.  Brazil
8.  Portugal
9.  Uruguay
10. England
11.  Austria
12  Ecuador
13. Turkey
14. Switzerland
15. Italy
16. Mexico
17. Netherlands
18. Hungary
19. Romania
20. Bosnia-Herzegovina

Dale Johnson has been an editor and journalist at ESPN for 18 years. You can follow him on Twitter @dalejohnsonESPN.


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