Dutch top rankings without kicking ball

BERNE - Netherlands went top of the FIFA world rankings for the first time on Wednesday without playing a match in the last month.

Although their friendly against England was cancelled because of the London riots, Netherlands benefitted as previous leaders Spain were beaten by Italy to lose their place at the top.

World and European champions Spain had led for one year.

The Dutch became the seventh team to head the rankings since they were introduced in 1993 after Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Brazil's 3-2 friendly defeat by Germany cost them two places as they dropped from fourth to sixth, meaning that Uruguay, who remained fifth, became South America's highest-ranked team.

Rankings (last month's positions in brackets)

1. (2) Netherlands

2. (1) Spain

3. (3) Germany

4. (6) England

5. (5) Uruguay

6. (4) Brazil

7. (8) Italy

8. (7) Portugal

9. (10) Argentina

10. (9) Croatia