Greece surges to record 14th spot in FIFA rankings

ZURICH – Greece rode its European Championship title run to an all-time best 14th in the monthly FIFA Rankings, climbing 21 places since June. Greece, which reached a previous high of 23rd in April 1995 and was ranked as low as 59th as recently as March 2002, climbed «possibly the greatest ever number of places in the upper reaches of the ranking,» FIFA said in releasing the latest list yesterday. Brazil remained atop the rankings for the 25th straight month, while France and Spain remained second and third. The European Championship, which finished with Greece’s 1-0 victory over Portugal on Sunday, had a dramatic impact on the rankings, which are a calculation of the relative strength of national teams based on their results over the previous eight years. The Czech Republic, which reached the semifinals before being beaten by Greece, climbed seven spots to fourth, its best showing since January 2001. (AP)