To be taken with a grain of sea salt, this month’s FIFA world rankings:
1. Spain: The world champs. Enough said. Top slot most of past four years.
2. Germany: Nothing to do with nationalmannschaft, but Ukrainian film causing a stir causing a stir before Euro ‘12.
3. Uruguay: Men and women alike love Diego Forlan.
4. Netherlands: Out of the top three for the first time since 2010 — retroactive punishment for thuggery in World Cup.
5. Portugal: Since moving to Real Madrid from Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 103 goals in 94 La Liga appearances.
6. Brazil: Like World Cup stadium construction, the selecao will be ready just in time for the tournament.
7. England: Bracing for more Euro disappointment — no appearances in the final, two semifinal visits, in 13 previous tournaments.
8. Croatia: Rugged Euro group with Spain, Italy and Ireland.
9. Denmark: Jealous of Croatia after learning it will play Netherlands, Germany and Portugal.
10. Argentina: It’s a fine number (Diego Maradona, Juan Roman Riquelme, Lionel Messi).
Others of note.....
No. 20 Mexico: CONCACAF champions at U-20, U-23 and senior levels.
No. 29 USA: Will Clint Dempsey’s goal total with Fulham match this ranking number by next week or next month?
No. 49 El Salvador: Surged nine slots. Playing at RFK Stadium June 2.
No. 136 Cuba: Dropped 20 spaces -- Ozzie Guillen weeps.
Four-way tie for last, at No. 205: Andorra, Monteserrat, San Marino, Turks & Caicos Islands. I’d like to visit those places.
USA’s upcoming opponents:
No. 48 Scotland (May 26 in Jacksonville)
No. 6 Brazil (May 30 in Landover, Md.)
No. 75 Canada (June 3 in Toronto)
No. 100 Antigua & Barbuda (June 8 in Tampa)
No. 82 Guatemala (June 12 in Guatemala City)
How are the rankings determined and why do teams move up and down even if they haven’t played recently? The explanation is here.
The next women’s rankings are scheduled for a June 1 release.
For the complete men’s list, click here.