FIFA World Rankings Top 10: Bleacher Report Edition
With the World Cup having come and gone over the past few months, the soccer craze has died down in America.
The post-World Cup FIFA World Rankings have been out for a while now, and I'm going to attempt the task of creating my own FIFA top 10.
On some I will agree with FIFA, some I won't. This will have to hold soccer followers over until the new rankings are released on Dec. 15.
I agree with FIFA on No. 1. How can any other team be put here? Spain just won the World Cup, and when comparing their roster to other rosters, their depth is unbelievable.
Almost every player on their bench would be a starter on most of the teams that qualified for the World Cup.
They have the best pair of strikers in the world, arguably the best midfield and defense in the world and the best goalkeeper in the world.
The loss against Portugal was just a friendly, and Portugal is one of the best sides in the world, ranked at No. 8 in the FIFA World Rankings.
I also agree with FIFA on No. 2. The losers of the World Cup Final have a roster stacked from top to bottom. With players such as Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder, they can score at any time.
Nigel De Jong, a very good defensive player who was suspended for some questionable tackles, has been dropped from the squad for an unspecified period of time.
The Netherlands will be looking to avenge their loss in the World Cup with a victory in Euro 2012, and they are very capable.
3. Germany (Brazil)
At No. 3, FIFA has Brazil. I disagree and put the Germans here. Germany was extremely strong in the World Cup without probably their best player, Michael Ballack.
The Germans have young stars like Mesut Oezil, Thomas Mueller and Jerome Boateng, with veterans like Miroslav Klose and Philip Lahm anchoring the team.
Seeing how well they played in the World Cup, Ballack will only make them better.
4. Argentina (Germany)
Lionel Messi, the best player in the world. Keep in mind this is coming from a Real Madrid fan! Messi couldn't get his elusive World Cup goal, but he got a goal in stoppage team in his team's 1-0 victory over ultimate rivals Brazil.
Argentina is a very good squad with strikers Carlos Tevez and Gonzalo Higuain, not to mention the added flexibility with Diego Milito. They look to be one of the top teams heading into the Copa America.
5. Brazil (Argentina)
Brazil was ranked No. 1 in the FIFA World Rankings heading into the World Cup, which was not a surprise with players such as Maicon, Julio Cesar, Luis Fabiano and Kaka.
They had a disappointing World Cup, exiting the competition in the quarterfinals. Head coach Dunga was fired.
Now the Brazilians are a team in transition under new coach Mano Menezes, trying to incorporate young Brazilian players such as AC Milan star Alexandre Pato, who was surprisingly left off the squad for the World Cup.
The Brazilians are the favorite to win the Copa America.
6. Portugal (England)
Portugal is one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the world. Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo can carry a team with his crazy bag of tricks or his unbelievable free kick ability.
Portugal has some good players on the wing to complement Ronaldo, like Simao and Nani, who is having a great year with Man U.
Portugal has a strong defense with Ricardo Carvalho and Pepe being able to lock down some of the best strikers in the world, as we saw against Spain.
Another one I agree with FIFA on. Uruguay has my personal favorite player in the world, Diego Forlan. He seems to give maximum effort all the time and was born a playmaker.
He had to be Uruguay's offense in some parts of the World Cup, especially against a tough German defense.
Ajax striker Luis Suarez, infamous for his handball against Ghana, can be deadly at times and tends to score in bunches.
Diego Perez can be an effective midfielder and will have to be for this team to be successful.
8. England (Portugal)
There are two reasons I placed England here: They were horrible in the World Cup and have serious goalkeeping questions.
They no doubt have an extremely talented and deep roster with players like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry in the midfield.
Wayne Rooney, the main offensive threat for England, was disappointing in the World Cup, but has had some good games in Euro 2012 qualifying including a game with four assists. The defense is still stiff but weaker than in previous years.
9. Ghana (Croatia)
These last two picks, occupied by Croatia and Russia, were wide open to me. How could two teams that didn't qualify in the World Cup place so high?
I absolutely love FIFA-ranked No. 17 Ghana and their youth. I watched them run by my beloved Americans by playing some great soccer.
Their midfield is loaded with Kevin-Prince Boateng, Michael Essien and Steven Appiah while Asamoah Gyan is possibly the fastest striker in the game.
They also have a very underrated defender in John Pantsil.
10. Italy (Russia)
FIFA-ranked No. 17 Italy was hoisting the World Cup trophy only for years ago. This is a team in transition from the old World Cup squad of last year to a younger squad for the Euro 2012 qualifying squad.
Veterans Danielle De Rossi and Andrea Pirlo, who both can be threats to score, will need to be the leaders of an extremely young squad.
Alberto Gilardino is a great finisher and will have to provide a lot of offense for the Azzuri. Giunluca Zambrotta will have to be a leader in the formerly Fabio Cannavaro-led Italian defense.
If this young team continues to improve, look out for them in the 2014 World Cup.