Uruguay reaches record No. 5 FIFA ranking

July 27, 2011 at 7:30 AM
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NYON, Switzerland, July 27 (UPI) -- Uruguay, coming off a Copa America championship, jumped 16 places in the last FIFA men's soccer rankings, reaching a team-record No. 5 ranking.

Uruguay was 4-0-2 in games in July, including a penalty kick shootout win over world No. 10 Argentina and a 3-0 victory over Paraguay in the Copa America final.

That charge prompted changes in half the FIFA Top 10. While the very top of the rankings is unchanged, the devaluation of rankings points earned in the 2010 World Cup tightened the standings.

Spain, as it has been since winning the World Cup last July, is on top but it saw a loss of 283 rankings points. That cut its total to 1,588 and FIFA No. 2 Netherlands, which lost 119 points, is just 46 points behind. Germany (1,305 points) is third and Brazil, which gained 72 points this month, is up one place to fourth at 1,202 points.

Uruguay reached its highest ranking ever with 1,156 points. Brazil and Uruguay both passed England (1,146), dropping the British to sixth. Portugal (1,076) is still seventh but Italy (1,059) is down two spots to eighth and Croatia (1,033) down one to ninth. Argentina (1,013) is 10th.

Mexico, which was ninth in the June rankings, fell 11 places to 20th.

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 Aug. 24.

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