The U.S. women’s national team has opened up the biggest gap at the top of the women’s FIFA rankings in history following its World Cup triumph.
Jill Ellis’ side won its second successive title last Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Netherlands in the final in Lyon.
The USWNT remains in first place in the international standings but now boasts a record gap of 121 points over second-place Germany, who lost to Sweden in the quarter-finals.
The triumph in France was spearheaded by Megan Rapinoe, who scored in the final against Netherlands as well as winning the Golden Boot, given to the top scorer, and Golden Ball for being the best player.
Rapinoe, though, had been eager to ensure that her teammates received plenty of credit for the victory as the USWNT cemented its position as the best team in the world.
“I don’t think I can [describe it],” the forward told BBC Sport . “It’s unbelievable. Just to know all the people in our group who put in so much work, obviously the players, we have all our friends and family here.
“It’s surreal. I don’t know how to feel right now. It’s ridiculous. We’re crazy, that’s what makes us special. We’ve got no quit in us, we’re so tight and we’ll do anything to win.”
Ellis, meanwhile, previously led the USWNT to glory in the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship and the 2015 World Cup, and she said of her current squad: “They put their hearts and souls into this journey and I can’t thank them enough. It has been fantastic.
“I could barely speak but I just said to them they were unbelievable, congratulations, they made history, enjoy it. This is unbelievable, I’ve got no words.”
Netherlands is up five places to third, its best ever position, while bronze medallists Sweden climb three places to sixth.
France stay fourth, with England, beaten by the USWNT in the semi-finals and then Sweden in the third-place play-off match, slip two places to fifth.
The biggest moves in the rankings comes from the Philippines (67th place, up seven) and India (57th place, up six), who are rewarded for strong showings in qualifying for next year’s Olympic Games.
The list now comprises 158 teams, up from 155, which is also an all-time record.
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