World Cup – Dutch replace Spain atop FIFA rankings

Although their friendly against England was cancelled because of the London riots, Netherlands benefited as previous leaders Spain were beaten by Italy to lose their place at the top. England also profited from the cancellation of the fixture, moving back up to fourth.

World and European champions Spain had led for one year, but now drop down one place after losing a friendly with Italy 2-1 in Bari two weeks ago.

The Dutch became the seventh team to head the rankings since they were introduced in 1993 after Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Brazil’s 3-2 friendly defeat by Germany cost them two places as they dropped from fourth to sixth, meaning that Uruguay, who remained fifth, became South America’s highest-ranked team.

Rankings (last month’s positions in brackets)

1. (2) Netherlands

2. (1) Spain

3. (3) Germany

4. (6) England

5. (5) Uruguay

6. (4) Brazil

7. (8) Italy

8. (7) Portugal

9. (10) Argentina

10. (9) Croatia


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