Big Movers of 2003
Germany and Sweden continued to occupy the top 2 spots having reached the World Cup final in the USA where the Germans were victorious in extra time. Asian champions North Korea relinquished their 3rd position in the rankings to the USA having lost 3-0 to them in an unsuccessful attempt to reach the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Greece had a successful year brushing aside Israel in friendly matches 5-1 at home and 3-0 in Bulgaria before enjoying a 3-1 win at home to Slovakia in the European qualifiers.
South Africa finished 2nd to hosts Nigeria in the All Africa Games having beaten Mali 2-0 and DR Congo 4-0 in their group and Cameroon 3-1 in the semi final.
Myanmar drew 1-1 with Taiwan to finish above them in 2nd place in their Asian Cup group in Thailand, thanks to their 6-0 thrashing of the Philippines.
India began the Asian Cup by smashing Uzbekistan 6-0 but were eliminated in the group stage as expected.
Mexico enjoyed a 1-1 draw against Sweden and a 2-0 win over South Korea in friendly matches in Australia and also defeated their hists Costa Rica 2-0 in a friendly before hammering hosts Honduras 6-0 in an Olympic qualifier.
Romania beat Bulgaria 4-0 in an away friendly before drawing 2-2 with the Irish Republic and defeating Croatia 3-2 in European qualifiers away from home.
Papua New Guinea moved down the most in the rankings after losing 13-0 to Australia and 5-0 to New Zealand in World Cup qualifiers played in Australia. They ended the year losing 3-1 to newcomers Tonga and drawing 2-2 with another new team, Vanuatu, in the South Pacific games in Fiji.
Uzbekistan began their Asian Cup matches in Thailand with a 6-0 defeat to India and finished bottom of their group with an 11-0 thumping at the hands of China.
Uruguay finished bottom of their World Cup qualifiers group in Argentina after going down 3-1 to Paraguay and getting an 8-0 hammering by hosts Argentina.
Kazakhstan moved down mainly due to their 3-2 defeat in Estonia in a European qualifier.
Poland lost 2-0 at home to Hungary and were thumped away from home, 6-0 in Russia and 10-0 in Iceland in Euro qualifiers.
Western Samoa moved into the rankings after being taken apart 19-0 by Australia and 15-0 by New Zealand in World Cup qualifiers in Australia and were pushed down the rankings by newcomers moving in above them despite achieving some good results thereafter.
The most surprising result of the year was India's 6-0 thrashing of Uzbekistan in the Asian Cup in Thailand while the highest score was Australia's 19-0 annihilation of Western Samoa in a World Cup qualifier.
The 13 new countries to join the rankings were Tahiti, Cayman Islands, Tonga, Algeria, Vanuatu, Malta, Dominican Republic, Kiribati (before the men), Armenia, Cook Islands, Namibia, Western Samoa and lastly Belize who moved in at the bottom of the rankings after being taken apart 18-0 by Guatemala and 15-2 by Panama in Olympic qualifiers in Guatemala.