ZURICH: Brazil capped a fine fortnight of football by moving to the top of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking after a seven-year hiatus.
Not since their elimination from the 2010 World Cup by Holland, when they were usurped in the table by eventual champions Spain and the Oranje, have the Seleção (first, up one) held the top slot.
However, recent wins over Uruguay and Paraguay in booking their place at Russia 2018 secured their return to the top.
With 129 games played during the month, there was movement throughout the table, with just 19 of the 211 member associations retaining their March positions.
Five of the 19 were in the top 10: Switzerland (ninth, up two) were the only side to break into that elite group, with Uruguay heading in the opposite direction (15th, down six). Poland (11th, up one) built on their best-ever placing last month to go one better – a feat matched by Burkina Faso (35th, up one).
Peru (17th, up one), Curaçao (70th, up four), Swaziland (88th, up 10), and Papua New Guinea (156th, up 14) also hit new ranking highs.
Macedonia (133rd, up 33) were the month’s biggest movers, with some strong gains coming within the top 50 too as Sweden (34th, up 11), Northern Ireland (26th, up 9), the USA (23rd, up 7), Greece (39th, up 7) and Japan (44th, up 7) all gained ground.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on May 4.
Leader Brazil (up 1)
Moves into top 10 Switzerland (9th, up 2)
Moves out of top 10 Uruguay (15th, down 6)
Matches played in total 129
Most matches played Djibouti (4 matches)
Biggest move by points Brazil (up 127 points)
Biggest move by ranks FYR Macedonia (up 33 ranks)
Biggest drop by points Liberia (down 146 points)
Biggest drop by ranks Liberia (down 39 ranks)
Newly ranked teams none
Teams that are no longer ranked none
Inactive teams, not ranked none