FIFA World Rankings: Latest 2013 Standings Amidst 2014 World Cup Qualifiers

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2013

The latest version of the FIFA World Rankings have been released, and there are a lot of changes near the top.

Spain remains at the top of the list, but every other squad in the top 20 has moved either up or down since the last rankings were released on Aug. 8. The qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup played a significant role in these shifts, and the landscape will likely change again when international play picks up again in October.

Until then, the latest rankings have seen a number of notable shifts from top teams. Argentina is now the No. 2 team in the world after jumping both Germany and Colombia in the past month. The German squad moves down to third, while Colombia drops all the way to fifth. 

Italy also moves into the top five after a couple of strong performances.   

The United States is one of the biggest climbers on the board, moving up six spots to No. 13 after officially qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

Here is a look at the top teams in the world as of Sept. 12, according to FIFA

The rise of USA remains one of the more noteworthy features of the new rankings. The squad has been on an incredible run as of late, winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup and officially qualifying for the World Cup after defeating Mexico on Tuesday.

Although Costa Rica snapped the team's 12-match winning streak, the group still continues to show it is a team on the rise.

Mexico is the only other team from CONCACAF in the top 30, although it drops to 21 in the overall rankings.

Among other big risers are Belgium and Uruguay, who move up to No. 6 and No. 7, respectively. Belgium has seven wins and a draw in the current stage of qualifying, while Uruguay has won three matches in a row after a poor start in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying. 

Of course, this also means that there are significant drops. This includes England, who falls to No. 17 after a draw with Ukraine. Portugal and the Netherlands also fall four spots.

Every team will continue to fight for position with the next set of World Cup qualifiers scheduled for Oct. 11 and 15. These are certain to make a giant impact to the next release of the FIFA rankings on Oct. 17.

 

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