European champion Spain extended its lead as the world’s No.1 football nation in the latest FIFA rankings published today. Italy and Germany remain second- and third-ranked.

Brazil is South America’s best, climbing two places to No.4 overall, while pushing the Netherlands and Croatia down a place each. Argentina remains ranked seventh.

Australia has reached its highest position in more than two years, up five spots to No.34.

Japan however leads the Asian Confederation at No.32.

The one change in the top 10 nations has Russia returning at No.9 at the expense of fellow Euro 2008 semifinalist Turkey, which drops three places to No.13. The two traded places in the elite group last month.

Cameroon continues to rise as the leading African nation, climbing two places to No.12, two places above England.

Israel climbs three to reach its best-ever ranking of No.16.

The United States is once more best among CONCACAF countries, climbing seven places to No.21, while Mexico holds steady at No.24.

New Zealand is the big mover at No.54. Its two World Cup qualifying match wins over Oceania rival New Caledonia helped lift the Kiwis up 57 places.

Other nations rising to best-ever placings were Lithuania, up 17 places to No.37, and Macedonia, up 10 to No.46 after beating Scotland in a World Cup qualifier. The Scots suffered the biggest drop in status among leading nations, down 10 places to No.26.

A total of 125 international matches played in the past month, including 106 qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, counted toward the rankings.

The next standings are due November 12.
1. Spain (1) 1,643 points.
2. Italy (2) 1,365.
3. Germany (3) 1,336.
4. Brazil (6) 1,280.
5. Netherlands (4) 1,258.
6. Croatia (5) 1,223.
7. Argentina (7) 1,200.
8. Czech Republic (8) 1,111.
9. Russia (12) 1,076.
10. Portugal (9) 1,075.
11. France (11) 1,035.
12. Cameroon (14) 1,027.
13. Turkey (10) 1,021.
14. England (15) 982.
15. Bulgaria (16) 969.
16. Israel (19) 961.
17. Greece (18) 945.
18. Romania (13) 927.
19. Ukraine (26) 893.
20. Uruguay (22) 887.
21. USA (28) 861.
22. (tie) Egypt (21) 860.
22. (tie) Paraguay (25) 860.
24. Mexico (32) 841.
25. Ghana (20) 839.

34. Australia (39) 737.

© AP 2018

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The Crowd Says (4)

  • October 9th 2008 @ 11:46pm
    Millster said | October 9th 2008 @ 11:46pm | ! Report

    We are close to that magic number 32, the number which – if we can consistently hold it – indicates that we are objectively justified in hoping for a place in the World Cup finals. Of course a number of countries further down may sneak in, just as we did, but to me it is symbolically very important that we climb above that line which (confederation place allocations aside) means that we deserve to be counted as a real potential finalist.

    Now, of the current top 25, what were the surprises and who do I think is over-ranked? Who do I think Australia could compete with and match? Ghana, Egypt, Israel, Greece and Bulgaria, also possibly Ukraine, stand out to me as countries currently ranked in the top 25 that I would expect us to be very competitive against.

  • October 10th 2008 @ 1:30pm
    jimbo said | October 10th 2008 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

    Of the top 25, we’ve also beaten the Netherlands, England, Uruguay and Paraguay in recent years.

    Japan is currently at number 32, so added incentive to beat them next month and in the return leg in June next year to clinch our place at the FIFA WC of 2010.

  • October 10th 2008 @ 1:37pm
    Alan Nicolea said | October 10th 2008 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

    I can’t recall the results Brazil have had over recent months that places them higher than Argentina. They have drawn against Bolivia, they beat Chile, they drew against Argentina and before that, they lost two in a row against Paraguay and Peru respectavily. Argentina’s recent results has seen them draw against Peru and Paraguay, Belarus, Brazil and Ecuador. I do not get it anymore. Even though they did not win, they did not lose either.

  • October 11th 2008 @ 12:16pm
    peter_ga said | October 11th 2008 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

    To win, you need both good team and good players. It’s very difficult to create a good team when most of the players play at the opposite end of the Earth, and when nearby international competition is quite lowly ranked. Its very difficult to get the team together and build cohesion over a number of years. Naturally the ranking, which is taken over several years, cannot reflect the ability of the team to peak for the world cup, So there is no need for Australia to be in the top 32 to be worthy of being in the world cup. All it has to do is qualify. If Australia qualify, whatever group they are drawn, will become the group of death.

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