Monday, January 02, 2006

The Ups and Downs of 2005

Despite losing to Argentina in a World Cup qualifier, Brazil thrashed their South American rivals 4-1 in the Confederations’ Cup final, and went on to qualify for the 2006 World Cup as expected, ending the year as the world’s top ranked team. Perhaps the most unexpected qualifiers were Trinidad & Tobago who by far were the highest movers of the Year. Scotland showed great improvement, but left it too late to qualify. North Korea did better that expected in 2005, though they lost the plot early on against Japan and Iran. Saudi Arabia played some good football in Asia while Kuwait had a disappointing year, as did Oman. In Africa Egypt will be hoping to continue their good form when they host Africa’s Cup of Nations in January. Ghana and Tunisia also strengthened their positions in Mark’s rankings. Honduras moved up after some good results in the Gold Cup. The highest movers among the top teams were Turkey and Denmark whose late results were not enough to topple Ukraine in their qualifying group. Greece who were in the same group, continued to slide down the rankings.
The latest rankings can be seen at: