Argentina consolidate their lead
© AFP

In the June edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, frontrunners Argentina have extended their lead over second-placed Brazil by 46 points. In third place, Italy are already 135 points behind.

The upcoming European Championship in Austria and Switzerland is likely to result in some changes in the top spots in the coming weeks. There are no fewer than 11 UEFA EURO 2008 participants in the top 20, and they can all hope to improve their positions in the next edition of the world ranking.

England, who did not qualify for EURO 2008, have made a strong impression by breaking into the top ten (9th, up 2).

The qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ that are already under way in Asia and Africa have resulted in a number of changes in the top 50 in recent weeks. Australia (35th, up 8) have overtaken Japan (38th, down 1) as the top-ranked Asian team, while Cameroon (13th, up 3) and Egypt (23rd, up 7) are among the most notable African climbers.

The biggest movers in the last month are Philippines (170th, up 19) and Togo (69th, up 17). Others that deserve a mention are Belarus (57th, up 3) and Montenegro (142nd, up 8), who have continued to climb in recent months and who have achieved their best position since the ranking was introduced.

As a result of the intensive preparations for the upcoming EURO 2008 and the qualifiers for South Africa 2010, more than 100 international 'A' matches have been played in the last few weeks. In fact, up to the beginning of June a total of 347 international 'A' matches have been taken into account in compiling the world ranking for this year.

You can view this month's full Ranking table by clicking on the link to the right.