Ireland up three places in Fifa rankings
Soccer:The Republic of Ireland won their last two Euro 2012 qualifiers plus the inaugural Carling Nations Cup, all of which means Giovanni Trapattoni’s side climbed three places in the latest Fifa World Rankings.
Ireland won their most recent qualifier away to Macedonia earlier this month to top Group B - on the same points as Russia and Slovakia but with more goals scored.
It means Trapattoni’s side climb three places to 31 (752 points) in the latest standings.
England climbed to fourth in standings to equal their highest place despite a poor run of form in recent competitive matches.
Fabio Capello’s team have moved above Brazil and Argentina in the rankings - updated today - despite only reaching the last 16 in last summer’s World Cup, and failing to win two of their last three qualifying matches for next summer’s European Championships.
The last time England were as high as fourth was in 1997, when they moved up as a result of a decent performance as hosts of the European Championships.
Scotland and Northern Ireland are also on the up. The Scots are now 61st with 513 points as a result of a five-place leap, with Nigel Worthington’s side - one of the countries they moved above - 15 points and one place behind them in 62nd.
However, Wales’ failure to pick up a single point in their four Euro 2012 qualifiers to date means they remain 114th in the rankings, level with the Faroe Islands as a result of the latter’s 22-place climb.
Unsurprisingly, Spain continue to top the charts, with their haul of 1,871 points putting them 210 clear of the team they beat in the World Cup final, the Netherlands. Germany (1,417) have moved up a place to third.
Mexico rocketed up the rankings and into the top 10 for the first time since 2007 following their CONCACAF Gold Cup success.
They moved up 19 places to ninth thanks to their 4-2 victory over the United States in the final of the continental cup played by countries from the Caribbean, north and central America.
Leading Fifa World Rankings (last month's positions in brackets)
1. Spain (1)
2. Netherlands (2)
3. Germany (4)
4. England (6)
5. Brazil (3)
6. Italy (9)
7. Portugal (8)
8. Croatia (10)
9. Mexico (28)
10. Argentina (5)
31. Republic of Ireland
62. Northern Ireland