By David Salazar (staff@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Jan 17, 2013 10:53 AM EST
Tags brazil

Brazil's Romulo (R) comforts his team mate Neymar after losing their men's football gold medal match against Mexico at Wembley Stadium during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 11, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Sergio Moraes (BRITAIN - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT SOCCER))

FIFA has announced its official rankings on Thursday and there are no surprises among the best teams as the top 10 list has remained intact.

At the top of the list is defending world champion Spain. The Spaniards finished in first place for the fifth straight year. The last time they were not the top team in the world, was in 2007 when Spain ranked 4th in the world.

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Germany remained second with Argentina, Italy, Colombia, England, Portugal, Netherlands, Russia, and Croatia rounding out the top 10 in that order. There was only one major change in the top 18; Ecuador rose one spot to 12th place while Switzerland dropped to 13th.

Brazil finally stopped their freefall and remained at number 18. 18th place is the worst ranking that five-time World Champion Brazil has ever had in the FIFA rankings.

Since 2006, the team has steadily dropped down the table. After holding first place for five years since 2002, the team dropped to second in 2007.

In 2008, the 'Seleçao' fell to fifth before rising back to 2nd in 2009. They dropped to 4th in 2010, 6th in 2011, and have now fallen to their current spot in 2012.

They are the fifth ranked CONMEBOL squad.

According to Samba Foot, the freefall of Brazil can be attributed to the fact that they are not playing any World Cup qualifiers and devoted their entire year to friendlies; FIFA ranks competitive matches like qualifiers much higher than friendlies. Brazil is not participating in qualifiers because the country is hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and has no need to partake in the qualification rounds. The team will be taking on England and Russia in upcoming friendlies; wins in friendlies against top ranked squads could have a bearing on the rankings.

The United States remained in 28th place on the rankings.

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