Canada cracks top 50 of FIFA rankings for 1st time since 1997

Hector Vivas / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Canada is back in the top 50 of the FIFA rankings for the first time in almost 25 years.

After going unbeaten in three World Cup qualifying matches during the last international break, Canada moved up three spots to 48th in the latest edition of the FIFA rankings released Thursday.

Canada last cracked the top 50 in 1997 when the nation was ranked 46th overall. John Herdman's men are now eight spots away from the country's all-time best ranking of 40th, which was achieved in 1996.

The Canadians are trying to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986 and sit third in the third round of CONCACAF qualifying.

CONCACAF nations such as Mexico (No. 8), the United States (No. 13), and Costa Rica (No. 45) are ranked higher than Canada.

The country's move into the top 50 is expected to help Canadian players who are considering a transfer to England. The English Football Association implemented a points system for foreign players trying to earn a work permit following Brexit.

Players who feature for a country in the top 50 while playing in 70% to 100% of their nation's games in the previous two years ahead of a possible transfer will earn 15 points automatically that can go toward completing a move to an English team.

Meanwhile, Belgium remains atop the rankings, while Brazil and France moved up to second and third, respectively.

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Canada cracks top 50 of FIFA rankings for 1st time since 1997
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