Bafana jump 17 places

2010-07-14 15:40

Bafana Bafana, despite becoming the first host nation in history to

fail to reach the second round of the World Cup finals, were the biggest

climbers on the Fifa World Rankings, jumping 17 places to 66th after the

completion of the global showpiece on Sunday.

Bafana, thanks to their incredible 2-1 win over then ninth-placed

France in their final group match played in Bloemfontein on June 22, were the

biggest climbers in the world rankings released today by Fifa.

It was victory in defeat for Bafana, who needed to beat Les Blues

by 4-0 to secure a place in the second round but the improved Bafana had the

consolation of beating France, a side in the top 10 for the first time in their

18 year history, and gain much needed confidence ahead of a tough 2010 African

Nations Cup qualifying campaign that involves African champions and world

ninth-ranked Egypt, plus trips to Niger and Equatorial Guinea.

France dropped out of the top 20 to 21st position after a

disastrous campaign. The 1998 world champions and 2006 runners-up the were

eliminated in the first round.

Spain, who defeated Holland in a bruising final played in front of

85 000 fans at Soccer City on Sunday night return as the world’s number one

side. Spain are also the reigning European champions.

Holland are second, Brazil – who fell at the quarterfinal stage –

are third and Germany who were one of the big surprise sides with a youthful

team, are now rated the fourth best side in the world.

The other success story of the World Cup is Uruguay, which jumped

10 places to sixth place, after finishing fourth in the World Cup.

The South Americans lost 3-2 in their third place play-off against

Germany in Port Elizabeth last Saturday.

Ghana, who were controversially knocked out by Uruguay in the

quarterfinals are also one of the big movers climbing nine places to 23. Chile,

despite losing 3-0 to Brazil in the second round, were impressive and moved

eight places to 10th.


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