Israel rose two spots to 50th in the new FIFA rankings published yesterday, as a result of its victory over Malta in the Euro 2004 qualifying competition two weeks ago. Israel now has 558 points.
France, the favorite in Israel's group to qualify for the finals in Portugal, stayed in second place with 790 points. Slovenia dropped six places to 34th with 634 points; Cyprus is in 84th place with 471 points (a drop of two spots), and Malta dropped one spot to 121 with 361 points.
England and the Netherlands each moved up three places with the top five remaining the same.
World champion Brazil held on to the top followed by France. They were followed by Spain, Germany and Argentina. England moved up to a tie for No. 6 with Mexico. Turkey was No. 8 followed by the Netherlands and the United States.
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