Brazil drop to 22nd in FIFA rankings

Five-times world champions Brazil plummeted further down the FIFA rankings as they hit a record low of 22nd place on Thursday, leaving them sandwiched between Ghana and Mali.

The latest rankings were also hugely embarrassing for Asia, whose highest-placed team Japan were a modest 32nd, with South Korea and Australia the region's only other teams in the top 50.

Brazil's low position is a combination of their lacklustre recent results, including four draws in their last six games, and their lack of competitive internationals.

Brazil, who qualify automatically for next year's World Cup as hosts, have spent the last two years playing only friendlies, which earn fewer points under the complex calculation system.

Mali were among four teams who reached their highest-ever ranking, alongside Belgium (12th), Bosnia (15th) and Albania (38th).

Oceania champions Tahiti will head for the Confederations Cup in 138th position after dropping three places. They will face Nigeria, Uruguay and European champions Spain, who continued to lead the rankings.

There was no change in the top four with Germany, Argentina and Croatia trailing Vicente del Bosque's side.

EXPLAINED How the FIFA rankings are worked out

Rankings:

1. (1) Spain

2. (2) Germany

3. (3) Argentina

4. (4) Croatia

5. (9) Netherlands

6. (5) Portugal

7. (6) Colombia

8. (8) Italy

9. (7) England

10. (10) Ecuador