World Cup winners Spain have regained the top spot in FIFA’s World Rankings, as revealed today by football’s governing body.
Spain last held the No. 1 ranking back in March this year and replace Brazil, who drop down to third place on the back of their disappointing quarterfinal exit in South Africa.
Beaten finalists the Netherlands are now ranked second in the world, equalling their highest-ever ranking and one not held since June 2009.
The new rankings show much more movement than usual with all the results from the recent World Cup taken into account.
The biggest movers are New Zealand, who were the only undefeated team in the tournament, drawing all three of their group matches. The All Whites rise 24 places to 54, their highest position in seven years and also only seven below their record placing of 47 achieved back in 2002.
Uruguay are one of two teams to achieve their highest-ever ranking on the back of their efforts in South Africa.
La Celeste , who finished fourth after an impressive run to the semifinals in South Africa, move up 10 places to sixth place overall. This is the first time they have ever cracked the top 10 after reaching a previous high of 14 back in May 1994.
Slovenia are the second nation to set a new high. They climb six places to 19 despite narrowly missing out on a second-round match after Landon Donovan’s injury time goal against Algeria.
Germany and Argentina both rise two places to fourth and fifth, respectively.
Elsewhere in the top 10, England rise one place to seventh despite a disappointing second-round exit whilst Portugal have fallen five places to eighth after exiting at the same stage.
Egypt, in ninth place, remain the highest ranked side not to have participated at the World Cup this summer, but still rank highly on the back of their African Cup of Nations win in January.
Chile return to the top 10 for the first time since 1998, moving up eight places to claim tenth spot.
In a contrast of fortunes, 2006 World Champions Italy, on the back of a dismal showing in South Africa, fall to 11 and out of the top 10 for the first time since May 2006.
France, another big European casualty in South Africa, slip 12 places to 21 and out of the top 10 for the first time in 12 years.
Paraguay, who reached the quarterfinals before losing to Spain, have climbed 15 places to reach 16 in the table. Slovenia and Switzerland join them as new entrants in the top 20.
Fellow quarter-finalists Ghana move up eight places to 23 in the rankings and are now Africa’s second highest ranked team.
World Cup hosts South Africa have risen 17 places to 66 after claiming four points despite their exit in the group stage.
FIFA World Rankings, Top 20, July 2010
(movements from June rankings in parenthesis)
7. England (+1)
10. Chile (+8)
11. Italy (-6)
12. Greece (+1)
13= USA (+1)
13= Serbia (+2)
15. Croatia (-5)
16. Paraguay (+15)
17. Russia (-6)
18. Switzerland (+6)
19. Slovenia (+6)
20. Australia (-)
Other 2010 World Cup participants:
21. France (-12)
23. Ghana (+9)
24. Mexico (-7)
26. Cote d’Ivoire (+1)
27. Slovakia (+7)
29. Denmark (+7)
30. Nigeria (-9)
32. Japan (+13)
33. Algeria (-3)
40 Cameroon (-21)
44. Korea Republic (+3)
46. Honduras (-8)
54. New Zealand (+24)
66. South Africa (+17)
103. Korea DPR (+2)
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