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Argentina finishes 2016 No. 1 in FIFA poll

Argentina finishes 2016 No. 1 in FIFA poll
Argentina's Lionel Messi is surrounded by the teammates as he speaks after a World Cup qualifying match against Colombia on Nov. 16. (Natacha Pisarenko / Associated Press)

Argentina will finish 2016 ranked No. 1 in the FIFA world soccer rankings, one spot ahead of Brazil and two places ahead of reigning World Cup champion Germany.

Chile, which won its second consecutive Copa America title over Argentina this summer, remains fourth followed by Belgium, Colombia, France and European champion Portugal. Uruguay and Spain round out a top 10 split evenly between Europe and South America.

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The U.S. remains 28th, 10 spots behind Mexico. Costa Rica, which blasted the U.S. in World Cup qualifying last month, is the top-ranked CONCACAF team, in 17th place. The U.S. fell as far as 32nd in 2015.

With a light international calendar over the last month, there was little movement in the poll. Iran (now 29th) and Ukraine, which switched places, were the only teams in the top 34 whose rankings changed.

Deeper in the poll, Nicaragua fell 25 places to drop out of the top 100, at 124, while Cuba tumbled 26 places to No. 151.

The monthly FIFA rankings are determined by a complicated formula in which points are awarded based on results from FIFA-recognized international matches over the last four years. Recent results and more significant matches are more heavily weighted to reflect the current competitive state of a team.

The rankings:

1. Argentina

2. Brazil

3. Germany

4. Chile

5. Belgium

6. Colombia

7. France

8. Portugal

9. Uruguay

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10. Spain

11. Switzerland

12. Wales

13. England

14. Croatia

15. Poland

16. Italy

17. Costa Rica

18. Mexico

19. Peru

20. Ecuador

21. Iceland

22. Netherlands

23. Ireland

24. Turkey

25. Slovakia

26. Hungary

27. Bosnia and Herzegovina

28. U.S.

29. Iran

30. Ukraine

kevin.baxter@latimes.com Twitter: kbaxter11

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