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Ranked! Every World Cup 2018 team based on their performances after two games

We’ve now seen every team at Russia 2018 twice – so who’s top of the class, who’s rock bottom, and where do England sit after that win over Panama?

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1. Mexico

El Tri came flying out of el traps when Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano and his team-mates made child’s play of slicing open Germany in that exhilarating 1-0 win. Mexico followed that up with a deserved 2-1 win over South Korea, 'Little Pea' Javier Hernandez scoring his 50th international goal. However, what puts Mexico atop of this list - aside from their superb player nicknames - is upsetting the reigning world champions in their opening game. Results get no better. 

2. Croatia

That 3-0 destruction of an increasingly ragtag Argentina may have been slightly flattering based on just how alarmingly their opposition fell apart (thank you, secret agent Willy Caballero), but take nothing away from Croatia. They scored some superb goals, with Luka Modric displaying the skills that make him one of the world's best playmakers and their fine array of midfield talent clicking in a way that they hadn't quite in the 2-0 win over Nigeria. Six points, two clean sheets, superb stuff.

3. Russia

Billed as one of the weakest host nations ever, it was a surprise that Russia stormed out the biggest winners of round one with a 5-0 triumph. Admittedly Saudi Arabia being hapless helped, but Denis Cheryshev and Aleksandr Golovin scored a couple of beauties in front of a glad-handing Vladimir Putin. A 3-1 win against Mohamed Salah's Egypt confirmed it: this Russia side boats a classier, more diverse attacking threat than many expected.

4. England

"What sort of a thing is going on here?" as ex-England manager Graham Taylor once said. The sensible, measured response to England scoring five goals in 45 minutes against Panama is to heed the words of Rio Ferdinand, who pointed out that England's opponents had played like a pub team (only much more violent). Yet it's shocking to see the usually stifled Three Lions playing with such attacking verve. A 2-1 win over Tunisia didn't reflect England's dominance, the 6-1 win over Panama did, Harry Kane has five goals in two games and we're all going to wake up soon.

5. Belgium

Behind England on [checks notes] the fair play table, the Belgian report card reads a lot like that of their fellow Group G qualifiers. Belgian have put admittedly limited opposition to the sword, besting Panama 3-0 and Tunisia 5-2. Their striker is firing (Romelu Lukaku with four goals) and Eden Hazard shone against the Tunisians. The defence of Roberto Martinez's side is yet to be fully tested but the attacking parts are clicking impressively.

6. Portugal

The highest ranked team not to win two games, because snatching a draw with Spain in a top-quality 3-3 thriller is about as good as a point gets. It took Cristiano Ronaldo following up that spectacular hat-trick with a header against Morocco to seal a tight 1-0 win, so the natural accusation is that this is a side overly reliant on their best player. But at least manager Fernando Santos has cleverly built a side that gets the best from his outstanding star player rather than plonking a superstar in a team and hoping for the best (cough, Argentina).

7. Spain

A 1-0 win over Iran thanks to Diego Costa's fortunate goal hardly convinced that Spain have found top gear under new manager Fernando Hierro. But it's easy to forget that Spain played some sublime stuff in that 3-3 draw with Portugal, with Isco shining and Andres Iniesta showing he still has some magic left. One bonus is that Costa – whose place in the starting XI was questioned pre-tournament – has started the tournament well with three goals.

8. Switzerland

A point against Brazil in their opener was a superb result for a Swiss side that looked set for a thrashing early on, but they followed that up with an even better result in that come-from-behind 2-1 victory against Serbia. An entertaining match could have gone either way, but superb goals from Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri settled matters to leave the Swiss flying high.

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