Chile climb 12th amid minimal movement
© AFP

As expected, there were very few changes to 2012’s first edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, as precious little football was played around the world. In fact, only 11 matches were taken into account, including six that were actually played in 2011.

At the summit, world champions Spain continue to lead the way ahead of the Netherlands, Germany and Uruguay, who are still close together in the chasing pack.

Of the top 20 teams, only Chile have been in action recently, their 3-2 victory over Paraguay seeing them overtake Russia and move into 12th place on the global ladder.

Although there was not much movement this month, some teams did still climb into their highest-ever position on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, namely Bosnia-Herzegovina (19th, up 1), Panama (47th, up 2), Estonia (52nd, up 5) and Belize (133rd, up 8). Montenegro (50th, up 1) have also returned to the top 50.

This month’s other successful sides are Uzbekistan (67th, up 8), Zambia (71st, up 8), Saudi Arabia (87th, up 9), Congo DR (116th, up 9) and Nicaragua (145th, up 9), who have all benefited from the devaluation of poor results in previous years to make significant progress up the table.

There will undoubtedly be more movement on February’s Ranking as the 32 matches taking place at the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea will be taken into account.