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FIFA World Rankings, Oct 10: Russia Back into Top 10

DUBLIN, IRELAND - OCTOBER 08:  Russia pose for a team photo prior to the EURO 2012 Qualifier Group B match between the Republic of Ireland and Russia at Lansdowne Road on October 8, 2010 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
Matt SAnalyst IOctober 20, 2010

World Champions Spain have held on to top spot in the FIFA rankings for the fourth consecutive month, with the Netherlands continuing to lead the chasing pack in second.

Below them, Brazil move into third, just edging out Germany who now occupy fourth position.

The only other movement in the top 10 sees Croatia move up two places to ninth and Russia who climb 15 places to 10th spot, after two away wins in Euro 2012 qualifying this month.

Italy's 0-0 draw with Northern Ireland sees them fall three places to 16th, whilst France return to the top 20 after a three month absence thanks to back-to-back home wins over Romania and Luxembourg.

Cote d'Ivoire also return to the top 20 as Serbia, Paraguay and the USA drop out. The USA now rank in 25th place after two draws against Colombia and Poland in this month's friendly matches.

Montenegro are amongst a host of teams to achieve their best ever ranking this month.

Following up a home win over Switzerland with an impressive 0-0 at Wembley against England has seen Montenegro rise to 26th place, improving on last month's ranking of 40th which was their previous high.

Armenia have risen 45 places to 60th, beating their previous best of 79th spot, after an impressive 3-1 qualifying win over Slovakia.

Several African teams sprung surprise results in qualifying for African Cup of Nations, which have catapulted them up the rankings—none more so than the Central African Republic, who have risen 60 places to 112.

They returned to international football after a three-and-a-half year absence to record a 2-0 win over World Cup qualifiers Algeria, which has lifted them to their highest ever ranking.

Other big climbers are Guinea (up 34 to 47th) who recorded a 1-0 win over Nigeria and Niger (up 54 to 100th) after they defeated African Cup of Nations Champions Egypt 1-0.

England remain sixth in the rankings despite their highly disappointing draw at home to Montenegro.

The Republic of Ireland climb one place to 32nd, despite only picking up one point from six in their qualifiers this month; Northern Ireland move up four places to 41st, largely thanks to their draw at home to Italy.

Scotland fall 10 places to 57th (their lowest position in just over four years) despite a narrow defeats to top dogs Spain and the Czech Republic, but it's even worse news for Wales who have dropped 20 places to 104th spot, their lowest ranking since September 2001.

FIFA World Rankings, Oct 10, Top 20

(movements from September rankings in parenthesis)

  1.  Spain (-)
  2.  Netherlands (-)
  3.  Brazil (+1)
  4.  Germany (-1)
  5.  Argentina (-)
  6.  England (-)
  7.  Uruguay (-)
  8.  Portugal (-)
  9.  Croatia (+2)
  10.  Russia (+15)
  11.  Egypt (-2)
  12.  Greece (-)
  13.  Norway (+1)
  14.  Chile (-4)
  15.  Slovenia (+4)
  16.  Italy (-3)
  17.  Ghana (+3)
  18.  France (+9)
  19.  Cote d'Ivoire (+4)
  20.  Slovakia (-4)

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