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 May 15, 2002 | 2035 IST

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FIFA rankings: France No.1; Brazil, Argentina second

In the final rankings before the start of the World Cup, World champions France held their top position while Argentina, favourites to win the 2002 tournament, pulled alongside Brazil in second place.

Three of the top 10 countries in FIFA's monthly rankings will not be at the tournament in South Korea and Japan - fourth-placed Colombia, the Netherlands and Yugoslavia.

China, in the World Cup for the first time, is the lowest ranked of the 32 teams in 50th place.

France, also European champions, have 802 points with Brazil and Argentina on 784. Colombia are fourth on 728 followed by Portugal (726), Italy (717), Mexico (716), and Spain (713).

Germany and England, both former World Cup winners, are 11th and 12th respectively, swapping positions this month. The World Cup begins on May 31.

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