Spain leads, Europe gets stronger in FIFA rankings
ZURICH -- World and European champion Spain topped the latest FIFA rankings on Wednesday, with European teams holding the first four positions as they prepare to begin qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, while the United States moved up three places to No. 33.
World Cup host Brazil, which has dropped in the rankings while playing only exhibitions this year, climbed one spot to No. 12.
No. 21 Mexico is the best in CONCACAF, which resumes World Cup qualifiying on Friday.
Japan leads Asia at No. 23, ahead of Australia at No. 25 and South Korea at No. 27. All three play World Cup matches next Tuesday.
European teams start on the road to Brazil with 22 matches on Friday and two on Saturday.