Spain break into record lead
© AFP

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.