Soccer

Brazil surges up FIFA rankings from all-time low

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ZURICH (AP)

Brazil has surged to ninth in the FIFA rankings after winning the Confederations Cup, rebounding from its historic low standing.

The five-time World Cup winner and 2014 host had fallen to 22nd before a five-match victory streak earned the warm-up event title.

Brazil could struggle to retain its position because its next competitive match is at the World Cup next June. Most high-ranked teams will play at least four more qualifying matches which score higher than friendlies in FIFA's calculations.

World and European champion Spain tops the rankings despite its 3-0 beating from Brazil in the final last Sunday.

Italy, third-placed at the Confederations Cup, climbs to No. 6. Uruguay rises seven to No. 12 after finishing fourth in the eight-team tournament.

Germany follows Spain, and Colombia rises four to its highest-ever position of No. 3.

Argentina, which drew 0-0 with Colombia in a World Cup qualifying match, and the Netherlands are fourth and fifth. Portugal and Croatia fall to seventh and eighth, respectively.

Tenth-ranked Belgium reaches its highest-ever position. England drops six to No. 15, losing its top-10 status for the first time since October 2008.

Ivory Coast leads African teams at No. 13, and Confederations Cup entry Nigeria falls four to No. 35.

Mexico is CONCACAF's best at No. 20, a fall of three places after failing to advance from its Confederations Cup group.

The United States climbs six places to No. 22 as reward for a perfect record of four wins in June, including three World Cup qualifiers and a 4-3 victory against Germany in a friendly.

Japan, which also played at the Confederations Cup, leads Asia at No. 37.

Iran's qualification for the World Cup helped it rise 15 to No. 52. Qatar, which lost a key qualifier to Iran and has been eliminated, drops eight to No. 112.

Tahiti was punished for its three heavy losses at the Confederations Cup by dropping 16 to No. 154.

New Zealand heads Oceania at No. 55, up two.

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