Argentina to No. 2 in FIFA soccer rankings

Sept. 12, 2013 at 11:19 AM
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NYON, Switzerland, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Argentina jumps to No. 2 in the FIFA men's soccer rankings behind No. 1 Spain as the Top 10 sees a major reshuffling.

Among the Top 30 teams, Spain and No. 24 Ghana are only teams to retain the same positions in the rankings they had last month. Spain has been atop the monthly FIFA rankings since September 2011.

Spain owns a 253-point lead in the rankings over Argentina with Germany 2 points behind Argentina,

Argentina qualified for the 2014 World Cup, a series of results that allowed the Argentines to pass Germany for the second spot in the rankings. Germany drops to third.

Italy goes from sixth to No. 4 while Colombia slips two places to fifth. Belgium improves four rungs in the rankings to sixth and Uruguay is up five to the seventh position.

Brazil improves from ninth to eighth but the Netherlands is down four to ninth and Croatia drops from eighth to No. 10. Portugal, seventh a month ago, drops out of the Top 10.

The U.S. team, which also locked up a spot in World Cup 2014, is up six spots to 13th in the biggest shift upward in the Top 20.

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 ranking update is scheduled for Oct. 17.

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