Spain retains rankings lead in FIFA, as Brazil, Russia rise


ZURICH — European champions Spain remained atop the world football rankings while Brazil rose two places and Russia returned into the top 10 in the latest list issued Wednesday by the world governing body FIFA.

Spain lead the way with 1,643 points from Italy (1,365) and Euro 2008 finalists Germany (1,336) in an unchanged top three. Brazil rose from sixth to fourth with 1,280 points, leapfrogging the Netherland (1,258) and Croatia (1,223). Argentina (1,200), the Czech Republic (1,111), Russia (1,076) and Portugal (1,075) complete the top 10, with Euro semi-finalists Russia climbing from 12th place.

Turkey dropped from 10th to 13th place while Scotland dropped 10 into 26th place. Lithuania, by contrast, rose 17 to 37th and New Zealand even gained 57 positions to rank 54th.

More changes are likely in next month’s list as World Cup qualifiers are scheduled for the weekend and next week.