Ireland fall outside Fifa top 30
Soccer:The reverberations of last month’s 6-1 World Cup qualifying defeat at the hands of Germany, a result that almost cost manager Giovanni Trapattoni his job, were still being felt this morning as the Republic of Ireland slipped eight spots to 36th in the latest Fifa world rankings.
Ireland may have steadied the ship with a 4-1 win over the Faroe Islands four days later but that victory could not halt their slide down the rankings ladder. Trapattoni, who has always placed great store in the Fifa standings, will aim to get moving back in the right direction next week when Ireland host Greece at the Aviva Stadium in a friendly international.
Five-time world champions Brazil remain stuck outside the top 10, despite winning both friendlies last month and scoring 10 goals in the process. Brazil, whose next game is against Colombia next week, thumped Iraq 6-0 and Japan 4-0 yet rose only one place in the controversial table, from a record low 14th to 13th.
Despite winning most of their games, the 2014 World Cup hosts, who qualify automatically for the tournament, have been slipping steadily down the table over the last year as they have only been playing friendlies which carry less weight in the complex system.
South American champions Uruguay's dramatic loss of form cost them a place in the top 10 as they slipped from seventh to 11th. They were thumped 3-0 by neighbours Argentina in World Cup qualifying and slumped to a 4-1 defeat in Bolivia.
Argentina's wins over Uruguay and Chile helped them into third place as they swapped places with Portugal. The leading two remained unchanged with world and European champions Spain on top, ahead of Germany.
England have slipped a place to sixth with Euro 2012 finalists Italy, the side who eliminated England in that competition, replacing Roy Hodgson’s side in the top five. England played two World Cup qualifiers in the eligibility period, with a regulation 5-0 win over San Marino and 1-1 draw in Poland.
Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland enjoyed a leap of 17 places thanks to their memorable 1-1 draw in Portugal, moving to 100 in the standings. Scotland, who sacked Craig Levein as manager this week, have dropped below Wales after being beaten 2-1 in their head-to-head match last month.
Scotland drifted by 14 to 70th while a 2-0 defeat in Croatia meant Wales also dropped from 57th to 66th. Elsewhere Fabio Capello’s Russia have moved into the top 10 after a strong start to their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Fifa top 10
1. (1) Spain
3. (4) Argentina
4. (3) Portugal
5. (8) Italy
6. (5) England
7. (6) Netherlands
8. (9) Colombia
9. (12) Russia
10. (11) Croatia