FIFA World Rankings: Latest 2014 Standings Ahead of Summer World Cup

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FIFA World Rankings: Latest 2014 Standings Ahead of Summer World Cup
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The FIFA World Rankings have received another update after the recent round of international fixtures, giving nations a clear indication of where they will sit heading into the 2014 World Cup.

While Spain and Germany maintain their grip on the top two, plenty of movement behind the juggernauts has seen countries such as Belgium, England and Russia gain places.

Let's take a look at the current top 20, followed by the biggest movers and shakers:

FIFA World Rankings: March 13, 2014
Position Nation Places Moved Points
1. Spain 0 1510
2. Germany 0 1336
3. Argentina 0 1234
4. Portugal 0 1199
5. Colombia 0 1183
6. Uruguay Up 1 1126
7. Switzerland Down 1 1123
8. Italy 0 1112
9. Brazil 0 1104
10. Belgium Up 1 1084
11. Netherlands Down 1 1077
12. England Up 3 1045
13. Greece Down 1 1038
14. USA Down 1 1017
15. Chile Down 1 998
16. Croatia 0 955
17. France Up 1 929
18. Ukraine 0 911
19. Russia Up 3 889
20. Mexico Up 1 888

The full list of rankings can be found on FIFA's website. You can also swot up on how the points are calculated right here.

Roy Hodgson's Three Lions and Fabio Capello's Russian side enjoyed the biggest leap forward inside the top 20, with both teams moving up three spots to 12th and 19th respectively.

Daniel Sturridge's smartly taken header against Denmark added 540 points to England's ranking score, putting them seven ahead of Greece and 32 behind the Netherlands, who drop after losing to France.

Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Although a positive step for England, Hodgson's side must continue working hard if they are to be considered as one of the world's very best. "England's highest ranking position since the creation of the world rankings in 1993 was fourth place, achieved in 1997," writes Emma Webb of Sky Sports.

Scotland—England's close neighbours—plummeted three places after beating Poland away.

Bosnia-Herzegovina drop out of the top 20 after losing to 2-0 to Egypt, who gain a massive 12 places with victory over Safet Susic's tricky European side. The Egyptians are the second-biggest risers across all 207 ranked teams, second only to Vietnam's 18-place jump into 125th after beating Hong Kong.

Getty Images/Getty Images

Paraguay's drop to 59th is notable due to the team falling 10 places after losing 2-1 to World Cup attendees Costa Rica. While this result moved the North Americans up one place to 34th, Paraguay are now ranked below teams such as the Cape Verde Islands, Iran and Guinea.

Heading toward the bottom of the rankings, Myanmar suffered the heftiest fall after slipping 43 places to 173rd.

Many will take the latest FIFA rankings with a pinch of salt, but there's no denying it's interesting to consider where each team resides heading into an important summer of football. The next update will take place on April 10.

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

While Spain and Germany look certain to enter the World Cup at the summit, there's still plenty of room for those behind them to gain a mental advantage as we gear up for Brazil's tournament.

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