ZURICH: Brazil’s triumph in the Confederations Cup last Sunday has helped fire the five-times world champions back up into the top 10 of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men won all their five games, climaxed with a 3-0 trouncing of ranking leaders Spain in the final in Maracana. That lifted them up to ninth in the July standings.
Previously Brazil had slipped down to a lowest-ever 22 because, as World Cup hosts next year, they lacked the competition advantage available to countries featuring in the qualifying competition.
Before the Confed Cup Brazil also recorded a friendly match victory over France.
Spain held on to their lead and continue to top the ranking ahead of Germany and now Colombia (third, up four), who are not only in their best-ever position thanks to some impressive performances in the World Cup qualifiers but also the highest South American team in the top 10.
Belgium (10th, up two) are another team celebrating their first-ever entry into the top 10.
Taking part in the FIFA Confederations Cup has also paid off for the two other semi-finalists, as both Uruguay (12th, up seven) and Italy (sixth, up two) gained ground, although the other participating teams – Mexico (20th, down three), Nigeria (35th, down four), Japan (37th, down five) and Tahiti (154th, down 16) – have all fallen back.
The ongoing World Cup qualifers and a number of friendly matches have seen no fewer than seven teams climb more than 20 places, namely the Cape Verde Islands (49th, up 23), Scotland (50th, up 24), Austria (54th, up 22), Guinea (61st, up 24), Armenia (66th, up 23), Senegal (74th, up 25) and Malta (133rd, up 23).
The shake-up in the ranking also means that Bosnia-Herzegovina (14th, up one), Peru (19th, up 11), Albania (37th, up one), the Cape Verde Islands, the Dominican Republic (90th, up four), Tajikistan (106th, up six) and Guam (176th, up two) are all now higher in the ranking than ever before.
In addition to the 16 matches in the Confederations Cup, 89 World Cup qualifying matches and 29 friendlies were played in the past month, bringing the total number of international A matches taken into account this year to 440.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 8 August 2013.
Leaders: Spain (unchanged)
Moves into top 10: Brazil (9th, up 13), Belgium (10th, up 2)
Moves out of top 10: England (15th, down 6), Ecuador (18th, down 8)
Matches played in total: 134
Most matches played: Italy, Spain, Uruguay (7 matches each)
Biggest move by points: Brazil (up 223 points)
Biggest move by ranks: Senegal (up 25 ranks)
Biggest drop by points: Central African Republic (down 145 points)
Biggest drop by ranks: Central African Republic (down 30 ranks)
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