Uruguay leap second as Portugal slide
© AFP

World and European champions Spain extended their lead atop of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking as Uruguay unseated Germany to go second and reach their highest-ever position on the global ladder.

Besides La Celeste, climbers within the top ten include Brazil (5th, up 1), England (6th, up 1), Argentina (7th, up 2) and Denmark (9th, up 1), while Portugal have fallen by five places after a goalless draw against FYR Macedonia and a 3-1 loss to Turkey, and now sit tenth.

Among the teams managing to make significant leaps within the top 50 are Algeria (32nd, up 6), Tunisia (46th, up 10) and Egypt (48th, up 9), who have all benefited from strong performances in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifiers, while Japan (23rd), Scotland (41st) and Iran (45th) have all climbed seven places each.

In the lead-up to UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, it is worth taking a look at the balance of power within each of the four preliminary groups.

With Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark, Group B is made up entirely of top-ten teams. Group C is also looking strong with Spain, Croatia, Italy and the Republic of Ireland – all teams from the top 20. Group A appears to be the weakest, with only Russia (13th) and Greece (15th) ranked in the top 20 and Czech Republic (27th) and Poland (62nd) ranked significantly lower.

A total of 115 matches have been taken into account for the current edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, 28 of which were Brazil 2014 qualifiers and the remaining 87 friendlies.

All OFC Nations Cup matches currently being played in the Solomon Islands will be reflected in the ranking in July.