WASHINGTON, Feb. 15, 2012 - After winning the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea Zambia rose 28 places to No. 43 in the latest FIFA rankings released today.
Germany bumped the Netherlands to climb to the second spot behind World Cup winner and European champion Spain.
The United States rose two spots to No. 31 after recent wins in friendlies against Panama and Venezuela. Mexico still leads the CONCACAF nations at No. 21 ahead of the U.S., Panama (49), Jamaica (50) and El Salvador (54). The Ivory Coast, which lost to Zambia in the Africa Cup of Nations final after a penalty-shootout, remains Africa’s highest-positioned team at No. 15.
The Netherlands dropped to third. South American champion Uruguay is fourth, ahead of England, while Portugal is now No. 6. Brazil dropped to seventh, while Italy moved to No. 8 Italy overtaking Croatia which dropped a spot to No. 9. Argentina fell out of the top 10 for the first time since 2004, falling to No. 11, while Denmark moved up to No. 10.
The 31st-ranked U.S. team has to play Jamaica (50), Antigua and Barbuda (90) and Guatemala (84) in World Cup qualifying.
Turks and Caicos Islands remain at the bottom of the ranking at 204.
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