National football teams from Caspian region countries took new positions in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Men’s World Ranking for December 2017, after what is the world’s supreme football governing organization released its new ranking of 442 teams on December 21.
Iran was the highest-ranking Caspian country, at number 32, which it was ranked also in November. Since the FIFA/Cocal Cola rankings were introduced in 1992, Iran has held one of the Caspian’s top spots, averaging 46.
Russia ranked 64, putting the squad in second place in the Caspian, behind Iran. Russia was the only Caspian team to move up a position from a month earlier, when it ranked 65. Russia has ranked well over the years, however, with an average of 22.
Both Russia and Iran will represent the Caspian region at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Russia from June 14 –July 15, which will be the first held in the region. Thirty-two national teams will compete for the championship title in 64 matches, played at 12 venues in 11 different cities across the country.
Turkmenistan’s team moved from 112 in November to number 114 in December, while Azerbaijan remained at 117. Kazakhstan went from 136 to 137.
None of the three teams were successful in their group stage matches of the World Cup qualification phase. Azerbaijan placed fifth amongst the six teams in Group C, ending its chances to make it to the World Cup next year, with 10 points. Kazakhstan’s team finished Group E games with only three points in the 10 games it played. For its part, Turkmenistan was unsuccessful in Group D, where Iran outpaced all of its opponents as it heads to Russia next year.