The latest edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking reveals two changes of position in the top ten, as well as the return of a team that were European champions not so long ago.
Spain continue to lead the way ahead of Brazil and the Netherlands at the top, but further back Germany (5th, up 1) and Portugal (6th, down 1) swap places, as do England (8th, up 1) and Argentina (9th, down 1).
Greece (10th, up 2) also return to the top ten for the first time since June 2008. Their fortunes are in sharp contrast to those of Egypt, last month’s major movers. The CAF Africa Cup of Nations winners fall seven places and are now in 17th place. The Pharaohs are still the highest-placed African team, however, just ahead of Cameroon (20th), Nigeria (21st) and Côte d’Ivoire (22nd).
The majority of changes in this month’s ranking are due to the devaluation of results from last year. Korea DPR (102nd, down 17) have fallen significantly, for example, due to the devaluation of their victory over Saudi Arabia in a 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying match last year.
Teams inside the top 50 that have benefited from the devaluation of past results include Serbia (13th, up 6), Slovenia (27th, up 6) and Slovakia (31st, up 5). Two teams – Montenegro (71st, up 1) and the Comoros Islands (175th, up 1) – are currently in their highest-ever position on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
Thirty-one matches, all friendlies, have been taken into account in this edition of the Ranking, taking the total number of international 'A' matches played so far in 2010 to 98.
More movement can be expected in the next edition of the ranking as a considerable number of matches will be played on 3 March, a date reserved for friendly matches in the international match calendar. It is an opportunity for many teams, not just those who have qualified for South Africa 2010, to make progress in the ranking.