Spain has managed to topple the United States of America from the top spot of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) world rankings.
With the USA firmly holding the number one spot for over 12 years, Spain is only the second team to top the ranking since 2010.
“It’s not exactly a new title and it probably can’t be maintained for too long, but it’s something so unique, prestigious and historic that I feel tremendously proud of everyone who … has contributed to it,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said.
The four-time defending Olympic champion Americans moved into the top spot after winning the FIBA world championship in 2010 and had been there since but Spain has managed to string together a slew of positive results to challenge their supremacy.
Spain won the most recent World Cup in 2019 and the EuroBasket title earlier this year, their fourth in the past six appearances at the continental championship with all of those victories coming under Scariolo.
Even after all their success, Spain sits just 1.1 points ahead of the US men with 758.6 to 757.5 points respectively.
FIBA’s rankings were changed in 2017 to a system that takes results from the most recent eight years into account. That means the US’s 2014 World Cup title was not taken into account but their Olympic gold medals won at Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo factored into the rankings.
The next 10 spots in the world rankings remain unchanged with Australia third, Argentina — who was No. 1 before the US took that spot in 2010 — is fourth, followed by France, Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Greece, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic.