Portuguese, Swiss rise amid African change
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Forty-two international ‘A’ matches were taken into account for the February edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – 40 of which were friendlies.

Spain, Germany and Argentina retained first, second and third places respectively, while Switzerland (6th, up 2) leapfrogged Uruguay (7th, down 1) and Italy (8th, down 1).

Meanwhile Portugal (4th, up 1) swapped spots with Colombia (5th, down 1) and Brazil (9th, up 1) did the same with the Netherlands (10th, down 1).

Of the 40 friendlies, 28 took place as part of the African Nations Championship 2014 (CHAN) in South Africa. It was the third edition of this tournament, in which only players who play in the national championships in their respective countries are eligible to participate.

The following teams have climbed more than five berths in the last month: Cape Verde Islands (27th, up 8), Armenia (30th, up 8), Slovakia (54th, up 6), Israel (56th, up 7), Uzbekistan (57th, up 8), Poland (70th, up 7), Liechtenstein (150th, up 6) and Pakistan (165th, up 7). Many of them benefited from the devaluation of older matches.

The opposite is true for some of February’s biggest fallers, in particular Mali (59th, down 19) and Togo (90th, down 19), who took part in the Africa Cup of Nations last year, suffering considerable losses.

Only three teams have climbed ten or more places in the last few weeks: St Vincent and the Grenadines (141st, up 14), El Salvador (78th, up 10) and Belize (142nd, up 10).

Very little has changed in the composition of the top 50: Paraguay (49th, up 2) are new members of the group at the expense of Mali, bringing the number of South American teams in the top 50 up to nine and the number of African teams down to eight. The number of teams from UEFA (26 teams in the top 50), CONCACAF (5), the AFC (2), and the OFC (0) remain unchanged.

In total, 55 internationals have been taken into account so far this year.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 13 March 2014.

Leader

Spain (unchanged)

Moves into top ten

none

Moves out of top ten

none

Matches played in total

42

Most matches played

Ghana, Libya (6 matches each)

Biggest move by points

Denmark (up 76 points)

Biggest move by ranks

St Vincent and the Grenadines (up 14 ranks)

Biggest drop by points

Mali (down 142 points)

Biggest drop by ranks

Mali, Togo (down 19 ranks each)