Victory on penalties in the World Cup final gave Italy top spot in Mark’s rankings, while finalists France who had a slow start to the tournament, and hosts Germany who finished 3rd were among the top teams to move up in the rankings.
Australia who had recently joined the Asian Football Association continued to impress, as did newcomers Ghana - both progressing into the knockout stages. Despite falling at the first hurdle, Ivory Coast went home with 2 narrow defeats and a victory from a very difficult group where Serbia and Montenegro took the wooden spoon in their last tournament as a united nation. A 2-0 win for Ecuador over Poland was decisive in group A, while in group E an injury-hit Czech Republic suffered a similar fate at the hands of Ghana. Switzerland became the first team ever to be eliminated without conceding a goal after finishing the group ahead of finalists France, but going out on penalties in the next round.