Spain ends year top in world rankings

World champion Spain will finish 2010 as the No. 1 team in the FIFA rankings, leading a European top three for the first time in 18 months.

The Netherlands, which was beaten by Spain in July’s World Cup final, is second ahead of Germany.

Brazil slipped to fourth following its loss to Argentina last month and a disappointing World Cup, losing to the Dutch in the quarterfinals. Argentina and England stay fifth and six, respectively.

Egypt leads the African nations and climbed one place to No. 9, while the United States tops the CONCACAF region, rising six places to No. 18.

Australia dropped six places to No. 26 but still leads the Asian confederation.

One of the biggest movers over the last year was Montenegro, which soared to No. 25 from No. 74.

Russia, which won the right to host the 2018 World Cup earlier this month, stayed at No. 13, while 2022 host Qatar dropped a place to No. 114.