If only FIFA rewarded valiant defeats when updating their rankings.
Australia would surely top the list under these circumstances. Unfortunately Sepp Blatter and the governing body do not take into account the fixture itself, only the result. Thus the population bore a collective grimace in anticipation of the new position.
While David Gallop petitions vehemently for a change in criterion, Australia has been rocked as the latest FIFA World Rankings have seen the Socceroos slide 14 places to 76th in the world, behind footballing minnows Sierra Leone and Azerbaijan.
The only solace lies in the fact that we are still ahead, if only by a single ranking, of traditional rival Zambia.
Meanwhile, Germany are reaping the benefits of a hugely successful Brazilian safari as they leapt two places to dispose of Spain as the new best team in the world. Joachim Low’s outfit lead their World Cup final opponents, Argentina, who lay in second, while a fantastic performance from the Dutch side saw them climb 12 places to third in the world. Tournament surprises Columbia and Belgium round out the top five.
Hosts Brazil felt the effects of a farcical 7-1 loss to Germany in the semis, falling to seventh place. Disappointing tournaments for Portugal, Italy and England saw each drop out of the top 10; the latter to their lowest rank (20) in 18 years. – Patrick Boddan
Top photo from John Cooper’s Flickr photostream.