Spain close gap on Brazil
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The September edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking sees Brazil unmoved at the top of the table ahead of Spain and the Netherlands. The Spaniards are gaining ground on the Brazilians, however, and they now have a significant lead over the third-placed Dutch.

World champions Italy (4th, up 1) have also made inroads and are now joint fourth with Germany. Croatia (9th, up 1) and France (10th, down 1) have also traded places. Mexico, who comfortably defeated the USA in the final of the Gold Cup to take the CONCACAF title in August, recently repeated the feat by overcoming the Americans in a FIFA World Cup™ qualifier, a victory that sees the Mexicans (24th, up 6) climb the world ranking.

Other teams to have seen off the challenge of higher-ranked teams to make progress in the table include Norway (43rd, up 7) and Chile (21st, up 5). Congo (79th, up 10), Angola (92nd, up 10) and Kyrgyzstan (143rd, up 17) have also taken significant leaps up the ranking. Australia (14th, up 2), Benin (78th, up 5) and Montenegro (89th, up 7) are all currently in their highest-ever position.

A total of eight 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and 62 friendly matches were played in the past month, bringing the total number of "A" international matches played in 2009 to 509. Many more qualifiers will be played in the next few weeks, which will lead to considerable movement in the next edition of the world ranking.