Brazil team posing for a photograph before the International Friendly against Russia on March 25, 2013 in London. (Getty Images)
Zurich: Croatia made a big move to No. 4 in the FIFA rankings after two World Cup qualifying wins, and tournament hosts Brazil dropped to No. 19 on Thursday. World and European champions Spain led an unchanged top three, ahead of Germany and Argentina, after a busy month of World Cup qualifying.
Croatia's victories over Serbia and Wales lifted them five places, and No. 5 Portugal climbed two spots. Colombia remained No. 6, followed by England and Italy, who both fell three places, and the Netherlands. Ecuador entered the top 10 for the first time, rising one place, and No. 12 Ivory Coast is the top-ranked African team.
Mexico are up one to No. 14 and the United States rose five place to No. 28. The CONCACAF rivals drew 0-0 in Mexico City last month. Rankings weigh results over a four-year cycle and Brazil, who fell one place, have dropped while playing no World Cup qualifiers. The five-time world champions drew with Italy and No. 11 Russia last month.
Japan head the Asian confederation nations at No. 29, a fall of three places. Rising in the top 50 were Peru (No. 32, up nine); Ukraine (No. 37, up 11); Albania (No. 48, up 16); and Wales (No. 49, up 22).
Equatorial Guinea rose 45 places to No. 59 after beating Cape Verde 4-3 in a World Cup qualifier, but could lose the victory and ranking points after FIFA completes an investigation into whether they fielded an ineligible player.
Qatar fell four places to No. 102 after the 2022 World Cup hosts lost to South Korea in a 2014 qualifier.
However, after last month's surprise big jump, India lost six places to occupy 149th.
The drop in rankings was expected as India had not played any international match in the period under calculation. They had jumped 24 places last month to occupy 143rd. India also lost three places in the rankings among Asian countries and they are now at the 25th spot.