Uruguay reach all-time high, Asian trio soar
© AFP

Twenty-four matches were taken into account for the April edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, three-quarters of which were played at the AFC Challenge Cup.

Asian representatives Turkmenistan (142nd, up 24) and Korea DPR (86th, up 25) were the month’s strongest teams, each topping their group and sailing through to the final of the AFC Challenge Cup unbeaten. Thanks to a late goal in the 87th minute, the North Koreans triumphed 2-1 and are thus through to the AFC Asian Cup 2015 in Australia.

In the leading pack, the Netherlands (4th, down 2) slipped out of the top three for the first time since June 2010. Climbers Germany (2nd, up 1) and Uruguay (3rd, up 1) are now the closest challengers to leaders Spain (1st, unchanged). The third-place ranking of La Celeste is the country’s highest ever in its long and successful football history.

Denmark (9th, up 2) are back in the top ten after an absence of one month, the Danish Dynamite’s highest position since August 1997, while Romania (45th, up 8), Libya (46th, up 9), Scotland (48th, up 3) and El Salvador (49th, up 9) have all made it into the top 50.

Alongside Libya and El Salvador, the Philippines (148th, up 8) have achieved their highest-ever position since the introduction of the global ladder, thanks to their excellent performance at the AFC Challenge Cup, where they finished third.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking will be published on 9 May 2012.