Rank out of order
FIFA have just published their latest World Ranking table and one thing is immediately obvious - the effect of Euro 2008 and some of the recent World Cup qualifiers has given the global pecking order a major shake up.
To begin with, European champions Spain (sorry, that still makes us laugh) are the new leaders following last weekend's win in the Final over Germany. They were third last month, but now take top spot from Argentina who drop to SIXTH following two draws in the recent South American qualifiers for South Africa 2010 (more of which follows soon).
Italy move up one place to second, deposing Brazil who drop to fourth (they picked up only one point out of the six available in their recent pair of World Cup matches) and Euro 2008 runners-up Germany climb two places to third.
Of the other teams that featured prominently in Euro 2008, the Netherlands leap from 10th place to 5th, Croatia jump eight places to 7th and Russia surge their way up from 24th to 11th. Turkey are also big winners in the July 2008 rankings, moving up from 20th to 14th.
Naturally enough, those teams who failed to impress (and we're looking at you, France, the Czech Republic and Greece) all fell further down the pecking order. Greece, European champions in 2004, suffered particularly badly after their First Round exit in 2008, falling ten places to 18th.
But for a team that wasn't even involved in Euro 2008, it's England that's stolen all the headlines. They're now ranked 15TH having played only friendlies since November 2007 - a drop of six places. That puts them just one place above Scotland, who move up a position, and just five above Ghana.
A special mention this month, though, goes to Suriname, the small South American country who rose 58 places to 87th in this month's FIFA World Rankings. A recent win in both legs of their recent World Cup qualifier over Guyana means Suriname (population: 470,000) are now ranked just four places below China (population: 1.3 billion).
Fabio Capello, you've seen how it's done...
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