ZURICH, Switzerland -- European champion Spain held onto the top spot Wednesday in the FIFA world rankings as it prepares to begin World Cup qualifying, while the United States climbed three spots to No. 28.
World champion Italy moved up one place to second, swapping positions with Euro 2008 runner-up Germany in rankings dominated by Europe. The Netherlands and Croatia rounded out the top 5, followed by the top two teams from South America, Brazil and Argentina.
The Czech Republic, Portugal and Turkey rounded out the top 10.
Mexico made the biggest move among the leading nations, rising eight places to No. 24 and topping CONCACAF countries. The United States moved ahead of Colombia, Poland and Sweden.
A total of 89 international matches played in the past month were considered. The next rankings due Oct. 8 will include two rounds of qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press