ZURICH: Brazil are on the move. The World Cup hosts have stepped up to third in the last edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking before the finals.
Spain and Germany remain unchanged in the top two slots but Brazil have overtaken Portugal while Argentina (fifth, up two) and Switzerland (sixth, up two) have each climbed two places and England (10th, up one) have returned to the top 10 at the expense of Greece (12th, down two).
Translating this in terms of the World Cup groups computes Group D (Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy) and Group G (Germany, Portugal, Ghana, US) as the strongest groups. Group D is the only one containing three top-ten teams, while Group H (Belgium, Algeria, Russia, Korea Republic) has no such team.
Palestine’s victory in the AFC Challenge Cup moved them up a remarkable 71 places to 94th ahead of their campaign at the AFC Asian Cup in Australia next January. This is Palestine’s highest-ever position. The same applies to Aruba (120th, up 35), Azerbaijan (83rd, up two), Montserrat (166th, up 22) and South Sudan (185th, up 16).
The results of 112 “A” international matches have been taken into account for the current edition of the ranking, with 67 friendly matches plus continental qualifiers in CAF (26 matches), the AFC (16) and CONCACAF (three) being played up to May 30.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 17 July 2014.
Leaders: Spain (unchanged)
Moves into top 10: England (10th, up 1)
Moves out of top 10: Greece (12th, down 2)
Matches played in total: 112
Most matches played: Afghanistan (seven matches)
Biggest move by points: Palestine (up 270 points)
Biggest move by ranks: Palestine (up 71 ranks)
Biggest drop by points: Egypt (down 83 points)
Biggest drop by ranks: Saudi Arabia (down 15)