The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

July 4, 2013

Brazil surges to 9th in FIFA rankings; US 22nd

ZURICH (AP) — Brazil surged to ninth in the FIFA rankings after winning the Confederations Cup, while the United States climbed six places to No. 22

The U.S. had a perfect record of four wins in June, including three World Cup qualifiers and a 4-3 exhibition victory against Germany.

Brazil, the five-time World Cup winner, had fallen to a low of No. 22 before its five-match victory streak resulted in the title of the warmup tournament.

Brazil could struggle to keep its ranking because it does not need to qualify for the World Cup as host and its next competitive match will be at the tournament itself next June. Most high-ranked teams will play at least four more qualifying matches, which count more than exhibition games in FIFA's calculations.

World Cup and European champion Spain remained No. 1 despite losing Sunday's final. Italy, third at the Confederations Cup, climbed to No. 6. Uruguay rose seven spots to No. 12 after finishing fourth.

Germany followed Spain. Colombia advanced four places to No. 3, its highest position. Argentina, which drew 0-0 with Colombia in a World Cup qualifier, was No. 4 and the Netherlands No. 5.

Portugal and Croatia fell to seventh and eighth. No. 10 Belgium reached its best ranking. England dropped six places to No. 15, losing its top-10 status for the first time since October 2008.

Ivory Coast leads African teams at No. 13, and Confederations Cup entry Nigeria fell four to No. 35. Mexico was CONCACAF's best at No. 20, a drop of three places after failing to advance from its Confederations Cup group.

Japan, which also played at the Confederations Cup, leads Asia at No. 37. Iran's qualification for the World Cup helped it jump 15 places to No. 52. Qatar, which lost a key qualifier to Iran and has been eliminated, dropped to No. 112.

Tahiti was punished for its three heavy losses at the Confederations Cup by plunging 16 places to No. 154. New Zealand leads Oceania at No. 55.

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