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Page last updated at 10:56 GMT, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 11:56 UK

Spain top rankings after Euro win

Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas and Fernando Torres
Spain won their major first trophy in 44 years at Euro 2008

Spain head the Fifa world rankings after triumphing at Euro 2008 in style.

Rated fourth in June, it is the first time the Spanish have topped the list since the rankings started in 1992.

Former leaders Argentina have slipped to sixth after two disappointing draws in World Cup qualifying.

England have dropped six places to 15th, their lowest position since 2001, Scotland are one place behind, with Northern Ireland 33rd in the ranking list and Wales 54th.

England and the rest of the home nations failed to qualify for Euro 2008, a tournament won by a gifted Spain squad.

They shed their tag as perennial underachievers when they swept all before them at the European Championship in Austria and Switzerland - winning every tie attractively and outplaying Germany when winning the final 1-0.

Barcelona midfielder Xavi was named the tournament's best player and was one of nine members of the Spain squad selected among a team of 23 by a panel of Uefa technical experts.


Germany, as a consequence of their progress in the tournament, have moved up two places to third position behind Italy, who have risen one spot, despite going out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage.

Greece, European champions in 2004, suffered a big drop - from eighth to 18th - after failing to make it out of the group stages this time around.

Russia's surprise run to the semi-finals resulted in them surging 13 places to 11th, their best ranking in more than 10 years.

The ranking system is based on international results over the past four years, with more points awarded for wins in major tournaments.

FIFA RANKINGS (previous position in brackets):

1. (4) Spain
2. (3) Italy
3. (5) Germany
4. (2) Brazil
5. (10) Netherlands
6. (1) Argentina
7. (15) Croatia
8. (6) Czech Republic
9. (11) Portugal
10. (7) France
11. (24) Russia
12. (12) Romania
13. (13) Cameroon
14. (20) Turkey
15. (9) England
16. (17) Scotland
17. (18) Bulgaria
18. (8) Greece
19. (14) Mexico
20. (16) Ghana
33. (32) Northern Ireland
41. (42) Republic of Ireland
54. (53) Wales

see also
Xavi awarded Euro 2008 accolade
30 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Torres - the making of a legend
30 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
The best goals of Euro 2008
30 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Spain victory photos
30 Jun 08 |  Spain
Germany 0-1 Spain
29 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Teutonic power vs Latin artistry?
28 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008

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