Spain Tops FIFA Rankings, Uruguay Up To No. 5Zurich, Jul 27: World and European champion Spain stayed top the latest FIFA rankings on Wednesday, and Copa America winner Uruguay rose to its highest place in fifth spot.The latest monthly standings will be used
Zurich, Jul 27: World and European champion Spain stayed top the latest FIFA rankings on Wednesday, and Copa America winner Uruguay rose to its highest place in fifth spot.
The latest monthly standings will be used to help decide seedings in Saturday's World Cup qualifying draw.
Spain, the Netherlands and Germany lead the way, with Brazil rising one place to fourth despite only reaching the Copa America quarterfinals.
Sixth-place England and No. 8 Italy both fall two places but are assured of top seeding in their qualifying groups.
Portugal (No. 7), Croatia (No. 9), Norway (No. 12) and Greece (No. 13) complete the list of top nine European countries set for top seedings.
France will be in a pool of second-seeded teams, which also includes 2018 World Cup host Russia and fast-improving Montenegro.
In the world rankings, Argentina stays at No. 10 after it was eliminated in the quarterfinals as the Copa America host.
Chile rises 16 spots to No. 11, and beaten finalist Paraguay climbed six to No. 26.
Copa America semifinalists Peru (rising 24 places to No. 25) and Venezuela (up 29 to No. 40th) made the biggest moves in the top 100.
Mexico won the CONCACAF Gold Cup last month, but fell 11 places to No. 20 after poor Copa America results with a young team of backup players.
Gold Cup runner-up the United States dropped six to No. 30.
Ivory Coast leads the African nations at No. 14, and Asian Cup champion Japan heads its continent at No. 16.
In Europe, Switzerland has dropped into the third tier of seeded teams for World Cup qualifying just one year after beating Spain in a group match in South Africa.
The Swiss are 19th best in Europe—No. 30 in the world—after a poor start to 2012 European Championship qualifying.
The Faroe Islands has risen from the pool of lowest-ranked European teams after beating Estonia in a Euro 2012 qualifier last month.
Wales is tied with the Faroes at No. 112 but drops into the bottom tier alongside traditional minnows such as Andorra and San Marino.
Elsewhere, 2022 World Cup host Qatar is up four places to No. 90.
World Cup preliminary round victories have helped CONCACAF teams Dominican Republic, US Virgin Islands and Bahamas each rise more than 40 places, though they remain outside the top 100.
A total of 175 national teams will take part in the 2014 qualifying tournament that will be drawn Saturday in Rio de Janeiro. AP