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Updated: July 14, 2010 15:47 IST

Spain tops FIFA rankings

DPA
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Spain skipper Iker Casillas holds the World Cup trophy after the team's arrival at Madrid's Barajas Airport on Monday. Spain overtook Brazil to become the No. 1 ranked football nation in the world on Wednesday.
AP Spain skipper Iker Casillas holds the World Cup trophy after the team's arrival at Madrid's Barajas Airport on Monday. Spain overtook Brazil to become the No. 1 ranked football nation in the world on Wednesday.

Spain returned to the top of the world football rankings issued on Wednesday by the ruling body FIFA in the wake of their first World Cup triumph.

But the 2006 winners Italy crashed out of the top-10 and the runners up from four years ago, France, even out of the top 20 after both went out of the group stage of the tournament in South Africa.

Spain, who had lost first place to Brazil a few months ago, returned to the top with 1,883 points. The Dutch moved from fourth to second with 1,659 points while quarter-final victims Brazil dropped from first to third with 1,536 points.

Semi-finalists Uruguay shot from 16th to their best ever position of sixth. Egypt, the African champions, moved from 14th to ninth even though they did not play at the World Cup while Chile climbed from 18th to 10th.

The other top 10 teams are Germany (fourth), Argentina (fifth), England (seventh) and Portugal (eighth).

On the other side of the spectrum, Italy plunged from sixth to 11th, non-World Cup team Croatia dropped from 10th to 15th place and France crashed 12 places, from ninth to 21st.

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