Mexico jumps into soccer's Top 10

July 5, 2011 at 9:41 AM
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NYON, Switzerland, July 5 (UPI) -- Mexico rode a CONCACAF Gold Cup championship back into the Top 10 of the FIFA men's soccer rankings.

Mexico defeated the United States for the Gold Cup title and ran its winning streak to seven matches. That gave Mexico 205 extra rankings points and pushed it from 28th to No. 9 in the rankings, which were released last week.

Only FIFA No. 1 Spain, with 1871 points, and No. 2 Netherlands (1,661) retained their positions from the previous ranking. Perennial powerhouses Brazil and Argentina both dropped, causing changes across the Top 10 as determine by FIFA, the international soccer federation.

Brazil was 1-0-1 in its June matches and lost points through the devaluation of previous games, causing it to slip from third to fifth. Argentina, 2-2-0, in recent matches, fell from fifth to 10th.

Germany (1,417 points) and England (1,146) move up one spot each to third and fourth ahead of Brazil (1,130). Italy (1,059) climbs three places to sixth with Portugal (1,046) close behind in seventh and Croatia (1,033) is eighth.

Mexico, a Top 10 team for the first time since July 2007, has 1,007 points while Argentina comes in 10th with 979, just ahead of No. 11 Norway (972).

The FIFA world rankings are determined by points awarded from match results in a three-year period, with more recent games given greater weight. Teams get additional points for playing relatively strong opponents. The next FIFA men's rankings are to be released July 27.

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