Croatia moves up to fourth

Croatia moves up to fourth

Published Apr. 11, 2013 1:00 a.m. ET

Croatia made a big move to No. 4 in the FIFA rankings after two World Cup qualifying wins, and tournament host Brazil dropped to No. 19 on Thursday.

World and European champion 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 it five places, and No. 5 Portugal climbed two spots. Colombia remained No. 6, followed by England and Italy, which 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 is up one to No. 14, and the United States rose five places to No. 28. The CONCACAF rivals drew 0-0 in Mexico City last month.

Rankings weigh results over a four-year cycle and Brazil, which fell one place, has dropped while playing no World Cup qualifiers. The five-time world champion drew with Italy and No. 11 Russia last month.

Japan heads 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 it fielded an ineligible player.

Qatar fell four places to No. 102 after the 2022 World Cup host lost to South Korea in a 2014 qualifier.