Despite not having played since early July, Canada dropped one spot to No. 44 in the new FIFA world rankings released Thursday.
The Canadian men started the year in 53rd place before working their way up to No. 43 in July following the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Canada remains third in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, behind the 11th-ranked Americans and No. 12 Mexico.
The Canadians' highest-ever ranking is No. 33, reached in February 2022 during their impressive World Cup qualifying run.
World Cup champion Argentina remains No. 1, followed by France, Brazil, England, Belgium, Croatia and the Netherlands. Portugal swapped places with Italy, which was held to a 1-1 draw away to No. 66 North Macedonia in a EURO 2024 qualifier, to move up one place to No. 8 with Spain completing the top 10.
Morocco climbed one spot to No. 13, meaning all three of Canada's opponents at last year's World Cup in Qatar now rank in the top 13 of the world.
There were 159 internationals played in September.
Citing financial constraints, Canada did not take part in the September international window. But Canada did make news since the last rankings were released July 20 with coach John Herdman announcing he was stepping down to take over Toronto FC on Oct 1.
Argentina increased its points lead atop the rankings following World Cup qualifying wins over Ecuador (1-0) and Bolivia (3-0). Runner-up France lost some ground after suffering a 2-1 friendly defeat at the hands of Germany.
The new rankings saw both Austria (No. 25) and Hungary (No. 32) climb four places. Mali (No. 49) and the Ivory Coast (No. 50) moved up two spots apiece to crack the top 50.
Northern Ireland was the biggest loser, tumbling 10 places to No. 74 after back-to-back away defeats to Slovenia (4-2) and Kazakhstan (1-0). Belarus (No. 105) fell seven places.
Guinea Bissau (No. 106) and Aruba (No. 193) were the biggest climbers, both moving up six places.
Canada's next game is Oct. 13 against Japan, which moved up one rung to No. 19.
The next FIFA men's rankings will be released Oct. 26.
The Canadian women are currently ranked 10th in the world.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2023
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press