Spain back on top of FIFA rankings

Zurich, July 14 (DPA) Spain returned to the top of the world football rankings issued Wednesday by the ruling body FIFA in the wake of their first World Cup triumph.

But the 2006 winners Italy crashed out of the top-10 and the runners up from four ago, France, even out of the top-20 after both went out in the group stage of the tournament in South Africa.

Spain, who had lost first place to Brazil a few months ago, returned to the top with 1,883 points with the World Cup triumph Sunday, 1-0 over the Netherlands. The Dutch moved from fourth to second with 1,659 points while quarter-final victims Brazil dropped from first to third with 1,536 points.

Semi-finalists Uruguay shot from 16th to a ranking best sixth place, Egypt moved from 14th to ninth even though they did not play at the World Cup, and Chile climbed from 18th to 10th.

The other top 10 teams are Germany (fourth), Argentina (fifth), England (seventh) and Portugal (eighth).

On the other side of the spectrum, Italy plunged from sixth to 11th, non-World Cup team Croatia dropped from 10th to 15th place and France even crashed 12 places, from ninth to 21st.

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