Only hosts Russia, who fall four places to 70th, are below Saudi Arabia (67th) in the latest FIFA rankings. They kick off the tournament against Saudi Arabia on June 14.
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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.
Neymar’s on-form five-time World Cup winners Brazil are second, multi-talented Belgium are third, Cristiano Ronaldo’s European champions Portugal fourth and Lionel Messi’s Argentina are fifth.
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.
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