Spain, who continue to race from one victory to the next and are now unbeaten in 31 matches, are also breaking new ground in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. With a margin of more than 350 points between themselves and their closest chasers, they are the most dominant leader since the Ranking was first published in 1993.
The Iberians' nearest rivals are Germany and the Netherlands. Brazil (4th, up 1) and world champions Italy (5th, down 1) swapped places. Argentina's (6th) qualifying thrashing in La Paz cost them points, but not any places in the ranking, although England (7th, up 2) are hot on their heels. France (10th, up 2) have returned to the top ten at the expense of Portugal.
This month's best performers include Greece (13th, up 6), Uruguay (16th, up 5), Switzerland (18th, up 4) and Serbia (23rd, up 13). Bosnia-Herzegovina (38th, up 20) made the biggest leap into the top 50 thanks to their impressive home and away victories over Belgium.
Northern Ireland (27th) and Gabon (48th) each gained 15 places. In addition, seven other associations have jumped up the rankings by ten places or more: Burkina Faso (56th, up 10), Latvia (61st, up 10), Togo (65th, up 26), Cyprus (74th, up 10), Austria (78th, up 10), Grenada (108th, up 14) and Estonia (115th, up 11). Ukraine (22nd), Romania (28th), Sweden (33rd), the Republic of Ireland (34th) and Costa Rica (40th) all fell eight places. Poland (41st, down 12), Iran (53rd, down 11) and Belgium (62nd, down 13) fared even worse.
A total of 109 "A" matches (77 FIFA World Cup™ preliminary matches and 32 friendly matches) were taken into account in the latest world ranking.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 6 May 2009.
Calculation of points for a single match
P = M x I x T x C
M: points for Match result
Teams gain 3 points for a victory, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a defeat. In a penalty shoot-out, the winning team gains 2 points and the losing team gains 1 point.
I: Importance of match
Friendly match (including small competitions): I = 1.0
FIFA World Cup™ qualifier or confederation-level qualifier: I = 2.5
Confederation-level final competition or FIFA Confederations Cup: I = 3.0
FIFA World Cup™ final competition: I = 4.0
T: strength of opposing Team
The strength of the opponents is based on the formula: 200 – the ranking position of the opponents.As an exception to this formula, the team at the top of the ranking is always assigned the value 200 and the teams ranked 150th and below are assigned a minimum value of 50. The ranking position is taken from the opponents’ ranking in the most recently published FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
C: strength of Confederation
When calculating matches between teams from different confederations, the mean value of the confederations to which the two competing teams belong is used. The strength of a confederation is calculated on the basis of the number of victories by that confederation at the last three FIFA World Cup™ competitions (see following page). Their values are as follows:
|Points Last Month|
|RSA - ESP||1:0||0||1||139||0.93||0|
|Points outside Ranking calculation|
|AUT - ESP||1:5||3||1||142||1||426|
|ESP - ARG||2:1||3||1||194||1||576.18|