Following a pair of fine performances in early World Cup qualifying, Argentina overtook Italy at the top of FIFA 's World Rankings. The Argentines' won each of their first two matches in South American qualifying, 2-0. Brazil also moved up one place to second following a 5-0 win at home to Ecuador and a draw away to Colombia. Italy, the former No. 1, played just one game in European Championship qualifying, beating Georgia 2-0, yet it dropped two places in the rankings because victories from the year before are now worth fewer points. Argentina now has 1,533 points, 74 ahead of Brazil and 146 more than Italy.
France, meanwhile, rose two places to fourth on the back of consecutive wins in Euro 2008 qualifying, while both Germany (5th) and the Netherlands
(7th) dropped places after losing qualifiers last weekend. Spain (6th), Portugal (8th), Czech Republic (9th) and Croatia (10th) round out the top 10.
Thanks to its 2-1 loss to Russia,
England fell two more places to 11th in the table. However, the result helped Russia climb 10 places to 16th, its highest ranking in more than 15 years. The United States, despite beating
Switzerland in a friendly, held onto 18th place, while regional rival Mexico dropped two places to 15th following a shock defeat to Guatemala.