FIFA World Ranking

Spain remain at summit

December 19, 2012
By ESPN staff

Spain have finished top of the FIFA World Ranking for the fifth year in succession.

Spain won their third major trophy in succession as they beat Italy in the Euro 2012 final
PA PhotosSpain won their third major trophy in succession as they beat Italy in the Euro 2012 final

Reigning world champions Spain remained at the summit throughout the year as they retained the European Championship in the summer.

Germany and Argentina stay in second and third place respectively, while Euro 2012 finalists Italy move up one place to fourth and Colombia - who had been 36th a year ago - are up to fifth. There were no new entrants to the top ten, which also features England, Portugal, Netherlands, Russia and Croatia.

Ivory Coast are the highest-ranked African team in the list, while Brazil, whose status as World Cup hosts has meant a lack of competitive action, drop to 18th.

Mexico dropped one place to 15th and USA fell to 28th, while Haiti became the third best-ranked CONCACAF side as they moved up 18 places to an all-time high of 39th, one place ahead of Turkey.

The FIFA World Ranking is based on a four-year cycle, taking into account results, status of matches, the strength of the opposition and the strength of football in the region.