Uruguay soar high
Copa America winners Uruguay have moved up to fifth in the new FIFA World Rankings, their highest ever position and a move of 13 places from the last published list.
Spain, Holland and Germany remain unchanged in the top three places, while Copa America quarter-finalists Brazil have moved up one place to fourth.
Uruguay, who won a record 15th Copa America title with a 3-0 win over Paraguay on Sunday, were the only team to break into the top 10 with Mexico, despite their recent Gold Cup triumph, dropping out.
Both England and Italy drop two places to sixth and eighth respectively, with Portugal unmoved in seventh. Croatia and Argentina round out the top 10.
The latest list confirms speculation that France would drop into the second pot of teams in the draw for the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Les Bleus’ fall to 15th in the world means they are now potential opponents for England, who as one of the leading Europeans are among the top seeds for the draw to be held in Brazil this weekend.
The six other European teams in the world’s top 10, plus Norway (12th) and Greece (13th), will also be drawn from the first pot in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday night.
Fifty-three UEFA teams will be drawn in eight groups of six and one of five for the qualifying campaign.
The Maltese national team yesterday registered its worst FIFA ranking for several years when slipping to the no.173 slot, a staggering 12 positions lower than the previous list issued last month.
Now, the only national teams from the UEFA fold behind Malta are Andorra and San Marino. They are joint last at no. 203.