Spain on top and Wales highest climber27-Dec, 2011
The last edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking for this year brings very few changes with it.
World and European champions Spain remain unchallenged at the top of the table, followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Uruguay, who are all still competing in an exciting head-to-head battle for second place. As the top team at year-end, Spain are the Team of the Year for the fourth year in a row.
The title of Best Mover of the Year is claimed by Wales (48th, up 2) who, with 330 points, won the most points in 2011. The Welshmen find themselves back in the top 50 thanks to their outstanding performances in the second half of the year, with wins over Montenegro, Switzerland and Bulgaria in the EURO 2012 qualifiers. December saw the following teams achieve their highest position ever since the introduction of the world ranking: Bosnia-Herzegovina (20th, up 3), Panama (49th, up 2), Estonia (57th, up 1) and American Samoa (186th, up 18), who claimed their first-ever win in a World Cup qualifying match.
A comparison with the continental composition of the top 50 in December 2010 reveals various changes: South America (9 teams, up 3), CONCACAF (3, up 1) and Asia (4, up 1) have grown stronger, while Africa (7, down 3) and Europe (27, down 2) have fewer teams in the top 50 than they had a year ago. The top-ranked teams from each of the confederations are Spain (1st), Uruguay (4th), Cote d'Ivoire (16th), Japan (19th), Mexico (21st) and New Zealand (119th).
The results of 57 new 'A' international matches have been recognised in the current edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, of which 51 were friendly matches and the remaining six were OFC World Cup qualification matches. In total, 1,046 matches were taken into account over the course of the year.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola Ranking will be published on 18 January 2012.
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