Croatia and Russia climb into top ten

Spain and the Netherlands, the two 2010 FIFA World Cup™ finalists, continue to lead the way at the top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

Brazil (3rd) and Germany (4th) have traded places just behind them, while both Croatia (9th) and Russia (10th) have climbed into the top ten on the backs of victories in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying. The races to reach the AFC and CONCACAF continental championships are now also under way, which made for significant movement in this edition of the world ranking.

A total of nine teams are currently in their highest-ever position in the history of the world ranking: Slovenia (15th), Burkina Faso (37th), Belarus (42nd), Armenia (60th), Botswana (79th), Azerbaijan (91st), the Central African Republic (112th) and the Philippines (152nd), as well as Montenegro (26th), who have continued their ascent and once again grabbed the headlines by defeating Switzerland and drawing with star-studded England.

Several teams made incredible climbs of at least 20 places over the last month, including Guinea (47th, up 34), Armenia (60th, up 45), Libya (81st, up 26), Guyana (98th, up 22) and Niger (100th, up 54). The Central African Republic (112th) have even jumped 60 places after emerging from a three-and-a-half-year absence that had seen them rooted to the foot of the ranking with no points to their name just two months ago. They marked their return to international football with victory over north African powers Algeria.

A total of 156 “A” international matches – 80 continental qualifiers and 76 friendly matches – have been taken into account for the October edition of the world ranking, which brings the total number of matches evaluated in 2010 to 641.