posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 01:42 PM
ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) - The United States advanced to an all-time high No. 7 in FIFA's rankings Wednesday while Greece jumped 21 spots to No. 14
after its dazzling run to the European Championship title.
Brazil remained No. 1 for the 25th consecutive month, and France and Spain stayed at second and third.
The United States twice had climbed as high as eighth -- in September 2002 and again in May. The Americans beat Grenada in a home-and-home series in
June to reach the semifinals of World Cup qualifying in its region of North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Greece was ranked as low as 59th as recently as March 2002. It climbed "possibly the greatest ever number of places in the upper reaches of the
ranking," soccer's governing body said.
Its 1-0 victory over Portugal on Sunday in the Euro 2004 final gave Greece its first major title.
The rankings are a computer calculation of the relative strength of national teams based on results the previous eight years.
The Czech Republic, which lost to Greece in the Euro 2004 semifinals, advanced seven spots to fourth. Germany, which did not win a game at Euro 2004,
dropped to 12th, tied with Portugal.
The Netherlands, which reached the Euro semis, remained fifth while Mexico dropped two places to sixth.
England, beaten by Portugal in the Euro quarters, returned to the top 10 after a two-month absence. The English moved up five places to eighth and
were followed by Italy and Turkey.
Argentina, which had gone winless in three games before a 2-1 victory over Peru on July 1, dropped six places to 11th.