International Football

International Football Power Rankings: The Top 10 Teams In the World

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2011

International Football Power Rankings: The Top 10 Teams In the World

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    GRANADA, SPAIN - MARCH 25:  David Villa of Spain (R) celebrates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier between Spain and Czech Republic at Los Carmenes Stadium on March 25, 2011 in Granada, Spain.  Spain win 2-1. (Photo by David
    David Ramos/Getty Images

    With the end of the club season in Europe, the focus now turns to the international season, in which there are many big tournaments and matches this summer.

    In Europe, qualifying for the 2012 UEFA Euro tournament is coming to a close, with the top teams in Europe looking to make the tournament of 16.

    In the Americas, two major tournaments will be held this summer with the CONCACAF Gold Cup about to get started and then the Copa America next month in South America.

    Before the busy summer season starts, here are the top 10 international teams heading into the big competitions.

10. Greece

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    POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 22:  Vassilis Torosidis of Greece in action during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group B match between Greece and Argentina at Peter Mokaba Stadium on June 22, 2010 in Polokwane, South Africa.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Get
    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    The 2004 Euro winners on are the track to automatically qualifying for the tournament next summer as they sit atop Group F, one point ahead of Croatia.

    After beating Malta on Saturday, the Ethniki play Ecuador in a friendly on Wednesday.

    Coming up in Euro qualifying in September and October, Greece has only one home match out of four, but it is the most important as they will host second place Croatia at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus on October 7.

9. Uruguay

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    DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 29:  Diego Forlan of Uruguay in action during the International Friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium on March 29, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    After making a splash in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Uruguay football team has garnered more attention in the past year.

    With star forward Luis Suarez moving to Liverpool in January and Diego Forlan possibly on the move to a bigger club, the country's stars are getting more publicity.

    The Uruguayans lost to Germany over the weekend in preparation for the Copa America.

    In their final match before the Copa America, Uruguay hosts the Netherlands on Wednesday in Montevideo before playing Chile, Mexico and Peru in Group A of the Copa America.

8. Argentina

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 26:  Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina plays during the first half of a friendly match against the United States at New Meadowlands Stadium on March 26, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    The Albiceleste have had recent struggles as manager Sergio Batista has implemented younger players in the squad and subsequently failed in two losses this past week.

    Losing 4-1 to Nigeria and 2-1 to Poland, the Argentines will look to get back on track before they start group play as hosts of the Copa America.

    One more friendly with Albania on June 20 comes before the start of play in Group A on July 1 against Bolivia.

7. Portugal

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    LISBON, PORTUGAL - JUNE 04: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal in action during the EURO 2012 Group H qualifier between Portugal and Norway at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on June 4, 2011 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    After a rough start to Euro qualifying, Paulo Bento's squad has gotten back on track as they lead Group H on goal differential ahead of Norway.

    The Portuguese have pulled off three straight wins in qualifying as well as an impressive 4-0 win over Spain in November.

    Bento's squad will face Cyprus, Iceland and Denmark in their final three qualifiers, and they need to win all three to guarantee qualification to Poland/Ukraine next summer after their slow start.

6. England

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 04:  Scott Parker of England in action during the UEFA EURO 2012 group G qualifying match between England and Switzerland at Wembley Stadium on June 4, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
    David Cannon/Getty Images

    England are unbeaten in Euro qualifying but are only tied for first with Montenegro due to disappointing draws with Montenegro and Switzerland.

    Fabio Capello and company do not play again in Group G until September 2 against Bulgaria, followed by a match with Wales and then a final showdown with Montenegro.

    A much-needed friendly on August 10 against the Netherlands will be a huge measuring stick game for the Three Lions heading into their final three qualifiers.

5. Italy

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    LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA - MARCH 25:  Thiago Motta (L) and Antonio Cassano of Italy celebrate scoring the first goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier between Slovenia and Italy on March 25, 2011 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Since their disappointment in South Africa last summer, the Azzurri have rebounded under new manager Cesare Prandelli and have not lost since August 2010.

    In 10 matches following the World Cup, the only loss for the Azzurri came right after the World Cup, as they lost to Ivory Coast.

    After the loss to the Ivory Coast, the Azzurri have gone unbeaten in nine matches, including five wins and a draw in Euro qualifying.

    Prandelli and company will play two friendlies, against Ireland and Spain, before resuming Euro qualifying in September with four games left to secure the Group C title.

4. Germany

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    CHESTERFIELD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08:  Germany U19 line up during the International Friendly match between England U19 and Germany U19 at the B2NET Stadium on February 8, 2011 in Chesterfield, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Germany has put on one of the more impressive qualifying runs in the Euro 2012 qualifying.

    Germany has taken the maximum points out of six games, including Saturday's 2-1 win over Austria.

    Joachim Loew has also guided the national team to a 2-1 win in a friendly over Uruguay last week as well.

    Four games remain for Loew and company as they face Azerbaijan, Austria, Turkey and Belgium before the team will most likely make the 2012 Euro competition.

3. Brazil

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 27:  Neymar of Brazil looks on during the International friendly match between Brazil and Scotland at Emirates Stadium on March 27, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Mano Menezes has gotten the Brazilian national team in shape before defending their Copa America title in Argentina next month.

    After losses to France and Argentina, Menezes got the team back on track after Neymar's brilliant two goal performance against Scotland, followed by a goalless draw with the Netherlands.

    A home match in Sao Paulo against Romania is the final warm up before the Brazilians head to Cordoba to start the Copa America against Paraguay on July 9.

2. Netherlands

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    AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MARCH 29:  Dirk Kuyt of the Netherlands in action during the Group E, EURO 2012 Qualifier between Netherlands and Hungary at the Amsterdam Arena on March 29, 2011 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    After losing to Spain in the World Cup final last summer, the Oranje got right back to their winning ways.

    Bert van Marwijk has led the Oranje to an undefeated run in Euro qualifying as they have 18 points in Group E, six points ahead of second place Sweden.

    Before the Oranje book their trip to Poland and Ukraine next summer, they play three tough friendlies against Brazil, Uruguay and England this summer before resuming qualifying on September 2 against San Marino.

1. Spain

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    GRANADA, SPAIN - MARCH 25:  David Villa of Spain (R) celebrates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier between Spain and Czech Republic at Los Carmenes Stadium on March 25, 2011 in Granada, Spain.  Spain win 2-1. (Photo by David
    David Ramos/Getty Images

    La Furia Roja have not missed a step since winning the World Cup last summer in South Africa.

    Spain is perfect in Group I in Euro qualifying with 15 points from five matches, and they look like the clear favorites to advance from the group as the Czech Republic are six points behind in second place.

    Before returning to qualifying on September 6 against Liechtenstein, Vicente del Bosque and company will face Venezuela and Italy in upcoming friendlies.

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