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7.04.2008

Spain's success lead them to top FIFA World Ranking

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Everyone is Spain has another reason to celebrate: the FIFA World Rankings for the month of July were released on Wednesday, and Euro 2008 champion moved up three spots to No. 1.

Indeed, Spain is just the sixth team ever ranked No. 1 by FIFA, joining Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and Argentina.

It's important to notice that Italy, which lost to Spain in the quarterfinals of Euros in penalties, moved up from third to second. Euro runner-up Germany jumped two spots to second. The Netherlands, which beat Italy, France and Romania at Euros, moved up five spots to fifth to put four Euro quarterfinalists in the top five.

South american powerhouse Brazil, which was second in the last rankings, dropped to fourth and Argentina slipped from first to sixth. Argentina had been ranked No. 1 since October of last year.

Four other European nations that participated in the Euro finals - Croatia, Czech Republic, Portugal and France - round out the top 10.

Russia, which made a surprising run to the semifinals of Euro 2008, made the biggest move in the top 50 by going from 24th to 11th. Turkey, the other Euro semifinalist, jumped six spots from 20th to 14th.

Cameroon remained the highest ranked African nation at 13th and Mexico remained the highest ranked CONCACAF team at 19th, despite slipping five spots. Japan is still the highest ranked Asian nation and moved up five spots to 34th.

Euro 2004 champion Greece, which failed to win a game at Euro 2008, made the second biggest drop among the top 50 by slipping 10 spots to 18th. Honduras was the worst by falling 11 spots to 48th.

England joined Greece as one of two nations to fall out of the top 10. England slipped six places to 15th.

The United States also took a big drop, slipping nine spaces to 30th. The U.S. lost to England and Spain in the last month, but also tied Argentina.

Iran made the second largest jump among the top 50 by moving 11 spots to 37th.

The biggest movers this month were Africa's Suriname (87th, up 58) and Burkina Faso (64th, up 47). Both of these teams played at least two 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in recent weeks.

It's good to announce that the next FIFA World Ranking will be published on Aug. 6, 2008.

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