Argentina first for first time
The fact that the teams towards the top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking are so close has led to another change of leader, with Argentina climbing from third to first place. Having finally ousted Brazil from the number one spot in February, Italy have already made way for Argentina. Apart from that, there are no other changes in the top ten.
The majority of changes this month’s ranking are a direct result of a devaluation pf past results, however. Argentina have certainly benefited from those devaluations, but their 1-0 victory over France in February also helped them claim top spot for the very first time since the introduction of the ranking.
Aside from the change at the top, there are few major movers in the upper reaches of the ranking. In the top 50, Finland’s surge (33rd, up 15) catches the eye, as does the appearance among the 50 best teams of both FYR Macedonia (49th, up 4) and Costa Rica (50th, up 4).
Further down the ranking, both Panama (54th, up 20) and Nicaragua (156th, up 11) gain more than ten places, whereas Iceland (86th, up 9), Guyana (95th, up 9), Antigua and Barbuda (130th, up 8) and Chad (135th, up 9) all improve their standing by making near double-figure gains. Having recorded the biggest climb, Panama are not only the Mover of the Month but also the team with the two most emphatic victories in terms of the number of points gained.
Only 17 “A” international matches have been played in the last four weeks, which means that so far this year 119 games have been taken into account for the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. In addition to nine qualifying matches (for the CONCACAF Gold Cup), this month’s ranking includes eight friendly matches.