German National Team Tops FIFA World Rankings For First Time In 20 Years
FIFA announced on Thursday that Germany's World Cup triumph has seen the team "rise to the top of the world rankings for the first time in 20 years," according to Tony Goodson of REUTERS. The 1-0 victory in the final has taken it up one place to top spot, ahead of its opponent in the Brazil final, Argentina, which rises three to second. The Netherlands moves up "a hefty 12 rungs on the ladder to third" after its World Cup third-place finish. Spain has "paid the penalty for not progressing from the group stages in Brazil" by dropping from first to eighth place, with Colombia, Belgium and Uruguay occupying the places above it (REUTERS, 7/17). The London TELEGRAPH wrote England is "officially worse" than the U.S. and Costa Rica. The team's "disappointing display" at the World Cup "has seen them slump" 10 places to 20th in the latest FIFA rankings. England's average position since the start of FIFA's world ranking system is 10, "with the lowest recorded position 27" during Feb. '96. Scotland, meanwhile, remains 27th and Wales 44th, with Northern Ireland up one spot to 89 while the Republic of Ireland is ranked 70th (TELEGRAPH, 7/17).