France Nearly Top Brazil at FIFA Rankings

Published July 5th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Newly-crowned European Champions France nearly ended Brazil's reign at the top of FIFA's world rankings published Wednesday, as Italy and Portugal also made significant climbs. 

Lagging 70 points behind only a month ago, France nearly pole-vaulted to the top with their dramatic extra-time Golden Goal win over Italy in Euro 2000's final last Sunday at Rotterdam. 

The Czech Republic, who played some impressive football at Euro despite their first-round exit, remain in third while quarter-finalist's Spain hold joint fourth with surging Argentina, who are unbeaten in South American World Cup qualifiers. 

Losing finalist's Italy moved up eight places to sixth while the surprising Portuguese also moved up eight places to seventh with their semifinal appearance at Euro. 

England have slumped to 15th after their failure to make an impact at Euro going out meekly in the first round after Kevin Keegan's side lost to Portugal and Romania in the group stages prompting a drop of three places. 

Euro co-hosts Holland moved up 13 places to eighth after reaching the semifinals only to throw away the match after dominating Italy before going out on penalties. 

Outside the top 20, Japan moved up 11 places to 46th closely pursued by Honduras who also moved up 11 to 51st, while newly crowned Oceania champions Australia climbed 29 places to 63rd - (AFP) 



© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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