Victory on all fronts for Brazil: after winning the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, the Seleção have regained the top spot in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, thus relegating European champions Spain (2nd, down 1) to second place. The South Americans last topped the ranking in August 2007, a position to which they have climbed six times in the history of the ranking.
The Netherlands (3rd, down 1), Italy (4th, unchanged) and Germany (5th, down 2), occupy the next three places, but are some distance behind the leading duo. Russia (6th, up 3) have overtaken England (7th, down 1) and Argentina (8th, down 1), achieving their best position since August 1997 in the process.
Of the other countries that took part in the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, finalists the USA (12th, up 2), Egypt (38th, up 2) and hosts South Africa (70th, up 2) have also progressed up the ranking. Egypt's improved position despite their early exit from the tournament is due to their 1-0 victory over world champions Italy, which scored very highly in terms of ranking points. Meanwhile, disappointing performances by Iraq (94th, down 17) and New Zealand (100th, down 18) caused them to lose ground.
In other news, Algeria (47th, up 19) and Tunisia (49th, up 2) have climbed into the top 50 at the expense of Burkina Faso (51st, down 1) and Finland (52nd, down 3). Furthermore, the following teams have achieved their best position since the ranking was introduced in 1993: Australia (16th, up 13), Gabon (30th, up 18), Grenada (88th, up 14), Montenegro (98th, up 12) and Antigua and Barbuda (105th, up 9).
In the last four weeks, a total of 119 senior international matches were played: 16 FIFA Confederations Cup matches, 67 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches and 36 friendlies. This brings the total matches played this year to 406. The many matches played and the devaluation of matches at UEFA EURO 2008 are the main reasons for the many changes in position in this edition of the ranking.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 5 August 2009.