Football: Brazil top Fifa rankings for first time since 2010

Brazilian players celebrate at the end of their 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier football match against Paraguay in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 28, 2017.
Brazilian players celebrate at the end of their 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier football match against Paraguay in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 28, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

Zurich (AFP) - Brazil surged to the top of the Fifa world rankings for the first time in seven years on Thursday, made all the sweeter as it usurped great rivals Argentina.

It caps a terrific week for forward Neymar and Brazil - last week they became the first country to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, their latest step on the road to redemption after the embarrassment and heartache of their World Cup failure on home soil in 2014.

Brazil were dumped off top spot after their elimination from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Their new surge is in contrast to Argentina and Neymar's Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi, whose country are in danger of missing out on next year's World Cup.

They will not be able to call on their star man for three of their four remaining qualification matches because of suspension.

Third in the newly released rankings are world champions Germany, followed by Chile and Colombia. Switzerland enter the top 10, up to ninth, with former top-ranked Spain clinging on in 10th.