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By ESPN Staff

Spain stretches lead at top of world rankings

ZURICH -- European champions Spain remained top of the world soccer rankings for a fourth straight month on Wednesday after extending their lead over world champions Italy.

World Cup qualifying wins over Armenia and Bosnia were enough to keep Vicente Del Bosque's side comfortably clear of the Italians, who also enjoyed qualifying victories over Georgia and Cyprus in the past month.

Brazil climbed above the Netherlands and Croatia into fourth place off the back of their World Cup qualifying draw with Bolivia and away win over Chile.

Scotland's hopes of leapfrogging traditional rivals England, however, evaporated following a shock 1-0 defeat in Macedonia.

After suffering the largest drop of points in this month's rankings, Scotland fell 10 places, to 26th while England's win over Croatia helped Fabio Capello's team climb one spot to 14th.

The U.S. moved up seven spots to 21st, ahead of rival Mexico at No. 24.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS (previous position in brackets):

1. (1) Spain

2. (2) Italy

3. (3) Germany

4. (6) Brazil

5. (4) Netherlands

6. (5) Croatia

7. (7) Argentina

8. (8) Czech Republic

9. (12) Russia

10. (9) Portugal

11. (11) France

12. (14) Cameroon

13. (10) Turkey

14. (15) England

15. (16) Bulgaria

16. (19) Israel

17. (18) Greece

18. (13) Romania

19. (26) Ukraine

20. (22) Uruguay


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