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Dec 16, 2009

Spain top rankings to earn 'Team of the Year' title

Reigning European champions Spain have been crowned FIFA's 'Team of the Year' after ending 2009 on top of the governing body's world rankings.

Vicente del Bosque's side qualified for the World Cup finals in South Africa with a 100% record and their only slip-up across a 12-month period was a shock defeat at the hands of the U.S. in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup in June.

With around just 30 matches taking place since the last set of rankings, it is no surprise to see Spain top the list heading into 2010 and indeed the top ten has remained unchanged, meaning Brazil and Netherlands are currently situated in second and third.

The most improved sides across the year were Brazil and Algeria who both rose up the rankings on the back of successful World Cup qualification campaigns.

Faroe Islands were the biggest movers though, rising 67 places to 117th after a 2-1 over Lithuania in September. It was the country's first victory in World Cup qualifying for eight years.

FIFA rakings top ten (previous position in brackets):
1. (1) Spain
2. (2) Brazil
3. (3) Netherlands
4. (4) Italy
5. (5) Portugal
6. (6) Germany
7. (7) France
8. (8) Argentina
9. (9) England
10. (10) Croatia

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