France, GBR, Russia major movers in July - Croatia for Per Capita Cup?

Croatia celebrates Ivan Perisic’s temporary equaliser in the Football World Cup Final 2018

The sporting month of July brought big changes across the top 30 places of the Global Cup, the ranking of the world’s best sporting nations. Awarding 8,000-plus points, July was by far the biggest month in the GSN year so far, with the men’s Football World Cup adding to an already very busy schedule, featuring tournaments like Wimbledon in Tennis, the Volleyball Nations League and the Fencing World Championships, to name but a few.

Despite not qualifying for the Football World Cup finals in Russia, the USA managed to hold on comfortably to their Global Cup lead, thanks to strong performances in Volleyball (victory in the women’s World Grand Prix and third place in the men’s Nations League), Golf, Lacrosse and Fencing.
Behind the USA, the race for the top ten places is now wide open. France won the July monthly ranking in the Global Cup, chiefly but not exclusively through its men’s team’s victory in the FIFA Football World Cup 2018. For Les Bleus it meant a 5-place leap up the year-to-date ranking compared to June, but France wasn’t the only country to scale new heights in July.
Among the top ten nations, Great Britain posted the biggest improvement, gaining 11 places to rise up to fourth, while Russia gained 7 places to reach fifth. Other major movers in the top 30 were Belgium, up 12 places in 16th and Brazil, up 36 places in 18th. Not surprisingly, both countries finished in the last eight in the Football World Cup, as did England and Russia.
And of course there’s Croatia, whose second place in the Football World Cup was a relative surprise, and propelled it up 19 positions in the Global Cup ranking, into 14th place. Playing in the Football World Cup final – for the first time in history - was a huge sporting result for a country of only 4,154,000 inhabitants, and it could also have big implications for the Per Capita Cup this year.
The ranking of the world’s sportiest nations is currently led by Norway, with a handsome margin over Sweden (another top-8 finisher in the Football World Cup) and Switzerland. Croatia doesn’t currently feature in the table: the Per Capita Cup only takes into account countries with at least 10 top-8 results in a GSN tournament during the sporting year, and Croatia has so far notched up six (besides Football, the others were in sports as diverse as Water Polo, Tennis and Shooting). Yet, Croatia is, virtually, very close to Norway in the Per Capita ranking, with 5,750 citizens per point as opposed to Norway’s 4,166.
We still have five months in the sporting year to see if Croatia can build on its Football success and create an upset in the Per Capita Cup in 2018. It would be a surprise, one which we didn’t quite see coming earlier in the year, but this is the beauty of sport!