Portugal back in the top ten
© AFP

Maintaining the top position in the March FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, Spain lead by exactly 300 points over Germany. After dropping out of the top ten in December 2008, Portugal have regained their place (10th, up 2) at the expense of Turkey (11th, down 1), while Russia have climbed one place (8th, up 1).

Other movers include Costa Rica (32nd, up 6) and Northern Ireland (42nd, up 7). One of the biggest movers this month, however, are Norway (45th, up 11), who have climbed back into the top 50 after beating Germany in a friendly in February. Other teams that have moved into the top 50 are Belgium (49th, up 4) and Colombia (47th, up 4), while Slovakia (53rd, down 11), Panama (51st, down 1) and Lithuania (52nd, down 4) have all fallen down the rankings.

All this movement has resulted in a change in the overall composition of the top 50, with 27 teams now from UEFA, eight from CAF, seven from CONMEBOL, four from CONCACAF and four from the AFC. Cyprus (84th, up 14), Korea DPR (107th, up 12), Equatorial Guinea (109th, up 15), Kuwait (114th, up 11), and Kazakhstan (130th, up 10) have all moved up ten or more places.

A total of 52 'A' matches have been played since the last edition of the ranking, bringing this year's total to 135. Of these 52 matches, 41 were friendlies, ten were FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers and one was an Asian Cup qualifier between Australia and Kuwait (1-0). The most valuable match in terms of points this month was the World Cup qualifier played between the USA and Mexico (2-0).