Big Movers of 2012
Having won Euro 2012 Spain continue to sit at the top of the rankings ahead of Brazil. Argentina end the year in 3rd and Colombia climb into 5th place after impressive results in World Cup qualifiers including the 4-0 thrashing of Uruguay.
Mali finished 3rd in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea with a 2-0 win over Ghana having beaten Guinea 1-0 to progress from their group to knock co hosts Gabon out on penalties. They qualified for the 2013 competition sweeping Botswana aside 7-1 on aggregate in the play offs.
Zambia began the Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-1 victory over Senegal and breezed past Sudan 3-0 in the knockout round before ending Ghana's hopes with a single goal to beat Ivory Coast on penalties in the final.
Algeria thumped Rwanda 4-0 at home in a World Cup qualifier and in African qualifiers won 2-1 in Gambia before doing the double over Libya winning 2-0 at home and 1-0 on a neutral ground in Casablanca.
Cuba Lost only by a single goal in Panama and draw the return match 1-1 in World Cup qualifiers, but in the Caribbean Cup played in Antigua and Barbuda, after defeating Jamaica 1-0 in the group stage they went on to win the tournament with an extra-time goal against Trinidad and Tobago.
United Arab Emirates who defeated Lebanon 4-2 in a World Cup qualifier also had good friendly results smashing Bahrain 6-2 and beating Kuwait 3-0 on home soil.
Palestine had impressive results in friendly matches drawing 0-0 in Qatar, winning 2-1 in Yemen and registering wins against Azerbaijan 2-0, Syria 2-1 and Lebanon 1-0 all in neutral venues.
French Guiana shocked first round Caribbean Cup hosts Saint Kitts and Nevis 3-0 and in the second round of qualifiers stunned Haiti 1-0 in Grenada to reach the finals in Antigua and Barbuda where they celebrated a 2-1 victory over Jamaica.
Dominican Republic upset round one qualifier hosts Barbados 1-0 and did one better to shock round two hosts Guadeloupe 2-0 before going on to end the hopes of the Caribbean Cup final hosts Antigua and Barbuda 2-1 in the group stage.
Jamaica who could only draw 0-0 away to Antigua and Barbuda and were beaten 2-1 in Guatemala in World Cup qualifiers, finished bottom of their Caribbean Cup group with only a single point from a goalless draw against Martinique, losing 2-1 to French Guiana and 1-0 to Cuba.
New Zealand struggled in Oceania narrowly beating Fiji 1-0 and Papua New Guinea 2-1 before drawing 1-1 against hosts Solomon Islands to progress from their group to be humiliated 2-0 by New Caledonia and eventually finishing 3rd in the weakest of continents.
Botswana returned from the Gabon Africa Cup of Nations with 3 defeats including a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Guinea. They also lost 2-0 away to the Central African Republic in a World Cup qualifier and were taken apart 4-1 at home by Mali in a continental qualifier.
Guadeloupe lost a home friendly 1-0 to Martinique and did not fare much better when a repeat fixture was drawn 3-3 in a Caribbean qualifier, but by far their worst result was a 2-0 loss at home to the Dominican Republic also in a Caribbean qualifier.
Cameroon who lost a World Cup qualifier 2-1 away to Libya struggled to beat Guinea Bissau 1-0 at home and lost 2-0 away to the Cape Verde Islands that resulted in their failure to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
Senegal had a miserable time in the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea losing 2-1 to Zambia, their hosts Equatorial Guinea and Libya to finish bottom of their group and failed to reach the next tournament after losing 2-0 at home to Ivory Coast.
Iran had a stuttering start to their World Cup campaign, drawing at home to Qatar 2-2 in the third round and 0-0 in the fourth round where they lost 1-0 away to Lebanon and at home to Uzbekistan.
The shock of the year was the 2-0 victory of New Caledonia over New Zealand followed by Guadeloupe's 2-0 home loss to the Dominican Republic and Montserrat's 7-0 hammering of the British Virgin Islands in Martinique.
The highest score of the year was Martinique's 16-0 humiliation of the British Virgin Islands in a Caribbean Cup qualifier.
Two nations joined the rankings. St Pierre & Miquelon moved in to bottom-but-one after being pummelled 13-0 by Guadeloupe and 10-0 by Reunion in France while Bonaire took the 203rd position after being swept aside 8-0 by Suriname in Aruba.