21 Oct 2011

Brazil stop rot in FIFA rankings, Spain stay top

6:13 am on 21 October 2011

New Zealand has dropped out of the top 100 in this month's international football rankings, plummeting 16 places.

Neighbours Australia dropped one place to 20th while Brazil rose two places to fifth, ending a downward trend after hitting an 18-year low in September.

Friendly wins against Argentina, Costa Rica and Mexico were enough to stop the rot for the five-times world champions as coach Mano Menezes attempts to rebuild the team for the 2014 World Cup.

With Brazil hosting the event, a sixth world title is considered an obligation by the media and public, with many even seeing it as a mere formality.

There was no change in the top four rankings.

Spain stay on top, Netherlands remain second, and are followed by Germany and Uruguay.