Coach Stuart Baxter's Bafana Bafana climbed four places and is currently in 72nd position. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

ZURICH – World Cup holders Germany have retained the top spot in the FIFA men's team rankings after the latest round of international matches while Belgium have climbed to third ahead of the 2018 finals in Russia.

A total of 133 matches were played in March, including international friendlies and 13 competitive games in the AFC Asian Cup.

Tunisia and Uruguay were among the big movers as they entered the top 20 while the matches in Asia helped Oman, Chinese Taipei and Philippines improve their rankings.

FIFA's newest members Kosovo, who climbed 24 spots to 152nd, and Gibraltar, who leaped 10 spots to 196th, also benefited from friendly victories.

South Africa climbed four spots in the rankings, but are still well outside the top 50 and currently hold 72nd place.

Top 10 rankings (previous positions in brackets):

1. Germany (1)

2. Brazil (2)

3. Belgium (5)

4. Portugal (3)

5. Argentina (4)

6. Switzerland (8)

7. France (9)

8. Spain (6)

9. Chile (10)

10. Poland (6)

11. Peru (11)

12. Denmark (12)

13. England (16)

14. Tunisia (23)

15. Mexico (17)

16. Colombia (13)

17. Uruguay (22)

18. Croatia (15)

19. Netherlands (21)

20. Italy (14)