Spain ends 2012 on top of FIFA rankings
Zurich, Switzerland (Sports Network) - For the fifth successive time Spain sits on top of the men's FIFA rankings to close out the calendar year.
Spain added another major trophy to its cabinet over the summer as the team captured the Euro 2012 title, giving it a comfortable advantage over second- place Germany and third-place Argentina.
While Spain enjoyed another big year, Colombia made a major breakthrough to climb from 36th at the end of 2011 all the way to fifth in the final rankings of 2012.
Colombia achieved this rise after posting a 6-1-1 mark over the past year to sit in third place in South American World Cup qualifying.
A number of teams made significant jumps into the top 50 as Haiti (39th, up 18), Bolivia (42nd, up 9), Gabon (42nd, up 10) and Ukraine (47th, up 8) ended 2012 on a positive note, while other sides like Republic of Ireland (42nd, down 6) and Bulgaria (50th, down 10) will be trying to reverse slides at the start of 2013.
Mexico (15th, down 1) ends the year as the highest ranked team in the CONCACAF region, with the United States (28th, down 1) having plenty of ground to make up.
The next edition of the rankings will be released on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2013.