Football - Mali close in on Brazil in FIFA rankings

Five-times world champions Brazil remained at a record low in the FIFA world rankings on Thursday, below Ecuador, Switzerland and Greece and only six places above Mali.

Reuters

The 2014 World Cup hosts are 18th in the table while Mali, who have never played at the World Cup, are 24th after climbing one place.

South America's 10 teams all remained in the top 50, with the lowest-ranked Venezuela occupying 43rd place.

Brazil are not involved in the World Cup qualifiers and have plummeted down the rankings as friendlies earn fewer points than competitive games in the completed rankings calculations.

Afghanistan, languishing near the foot of the table until last month, leapt 48 places thanks to wins over Laos and Sri Lanka, leaving them 141st out of 209 teams.

Japan are Asia's highest-ranked team in 26th while Ivory Coast, 13th, are the top Africans and Mexico, 15th, are the CONCACAF region's top-ranked side.

There was no change among the leaders where world and European champions Spain are top, followed by Germany, Argentina, England and Italy.

1. (1) Spain

2. (2) Germany

3. (3) Argentina

4. (4) England

5. (5) Italy

6. (6) Colombia

7. (6) Portugal

8. (8) Netherlands

9. (9) Croatia 10. (10) Russia

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