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By ESPN Staff

Italy returns to top of FIFA rankings

ZURICH, Switzerland -- World Cup champion Italy returned to No. 1 in soccer's world rankings Wednesday, Brazil dropped from the top spot to No. 3 and the United States fell one place to 18th.

Italy climbed two places after its 2-1 win over Ukraine and 0-0 tie with France this month in qualifying for next year's European Championship.

Italy has 1,488 points, followed by Argentina (1,451) and Brazil (1,444). Germany moved up one spot to fourth and the Netherlands gained two places to fifth.

France slipped two places to No. 6 after its 1-0 loss to Scotland in European qualifying. Spain, Portugal, England and Croatia rounded out the top 10, and Mexico fell two places to 13th, behind the Czech Republic and Romania. Scotland jumped from No. 23 to No. 14, equaling its best position since the FIFA world rankings were introduced in 1993.