Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Spain extend lead in FIFA rankings

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ZURICH: Spain extended their lead at the top of FIFA’s monthly world rankings on Wednesday, as 2012 European Championship qualifying group winners Greece and Denmark entered the top 10.

Spain won their two Euro 2012 qualifying matches this month while No. 2 Netherlands lost one, to Sweden.

Germany and South American champion Uruguay stayed third and fourth, respectively. Brazil rose two to No. 5 followed by Italy and England.

Greece rose three to share eighth place with Portugal, which lost to the Danes and faces a playoff to advance to the Euro 2012 finals.

Argentina, which lost a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Venezuela, are tied at No. 10 with Denmark.

Japan lead Asian nations at No. 17, and 19th-placed Ivory Coast is the best African country.

Mexico heads CONCACAF members at No. 22, and the United States drops three to No. 34. Former US coach Bob Bradley vaulted over his old team, leading African champion Egypt up seven places to No. 29.

Montenegro fell 13 places to No. 39 despite reaching the Euro 2012 playoffs. Estonia at No. 59 is the lowest-ranked of the eight playoffs teams.

Wales used their two Euro 2012 wins to leap 45 places to No. 45.

Iraq rose 16 places to No. 91 after beating China in a World Cup qualifier, while Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host, rose eight to No. 92.

New Zealand, Oceania’s best nation, did not play last month yet dropped 16 places to No. 104.

The rankings weigh all international matches over a rolling four-year cycle. (Agencies)

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