The recent qualifiers for the 2012 European Championships have been taken into account and have led to much movement in the new FIFA World Rankings, announced by football’s world governing body today.
World champions Spain continue to lead the way from runners-up Netherlands, despite their headline-grabbing 4-1 loss in Argentina earlier this month.
Germany have swapped places with Brazil to climb to third and England have also risen one place to sixth, replacing Uruguay who fall to seventh.
Norway and Slovakia have both catapulted themselves into the Top 20 after impressive starts to their respective qualifying campaigns.
The Scandinavians enjoyed wins over Israel and Portugal and climb to 14th, their highest ranking in over nine years.
Slovakia have improved by 11 places to reach 16th place, which represents their best ever ranking, beating their previous high of 17 back in 1997. The feat was largely achieved thanks to a brilliant 1-0 win in Russia.
Russia are one of three teams to drop out of the Top 20, slipping out alongside Switzerland and Australia. Ghana have moved up three places to take 20th place.
The Republic of Ireland (up three to 33) and Northern Ireland (up 14 to 45) have both risen after good starts to their qualifying campaigns.
Scotland, despite topping their group, have dropped six places to 47 whilst Wales hold their position at 84.
Other movers of note are France (down six to 27), who now occupy their lowest ever ranking, surpassing a previous low of 25 in April 1998.
The Czech Republic (down six to 37th) have fallen to their lowest ranking since August 1994, after a home defeat by Lithuania.
Montenegro have made huge ground after back-to-back 1-0 wins over Wales and Bulgaria. They have climbed 33 places to reach 40th, an incredible feat given that they are FIFA’s newest member, having only started collecting ranking points in June 2007.
Cyprus (up 20 to 43rd) and Belarus (up 23 to 55th) have also achieved best ever rankings.
Outside of Europe three African nations have also achieved their highest ever ranking: Burkina Faso (up 6 to 39th), Uganda (up 6 to 63rd), and Botswana (up 11 to 82nd).
Also worthy of note is Cape Verde Islands’ rise of 31 places up to 77th after a 1-0 win over Mali in qualification for the African Cup of Nations.
The biggest mover however is Guinea-Bissau, who climbed 48 places to 140th after ending their absence of almost three years from the international game, with a 1-0 over Kenya, also in African Cup of Nations qualifying.
FIFA World Rankings, September 2010
(movements from previous rankings in parenthesis)
- Spain (-)
- Netherlands (-)
- Germany (+1)
- Brazil (-1)
- Argentina (-)
- England (+1)
- Uruguay (-1)
- Portugal (-)
- Egypt (-)
- Chile (-)
- Croatia (+3)
- Greece (-)
- Italy (-2)
- Norway (+8)
- Serbia (-2)
- Slovakia (+11)
- Paraguay (-2)
- USA (-)
- Slovenia (-)
- Ghana (+3)