6/7/2018 4:04:37 PM (GMT+3)

Germany will go to Russia as No.1 ranked team

Germany will go to Russia as No.1 ranked team

PARIS: Defending champions Germany go to the Russian World Cup as world’s top-ranked team, according to the FIFA rankings published on Thursday.

Five-time winners Brazil are second, multi-talented Belgium are third, European champions Portugal fourth and Argentina are fifth.

The hosts meanwhile slide to 70th position after a seven-game winless streak. They kick off the tournament against Saudi Arabia on June 14.

British bookmakers would agree with the top two as they make Germany and Brazil joint World Cup favourites at odds of five to one followed by Spain, France and Argentina.

The Germans are in good shape heading to Russia after their talismanic goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, a key player in their 2014 victory, returned to action after a long absence through injury.

"Individually, without a doubt. But football has developed considerably. We are world champions, we have several players at the peak of their powers. We are looking forward to the tournament," said Thomas Muller.