Spain stay top as Republic of Ireland fall six places to 42nd


England remain sixth in the latest Fifa world rankings, while Wales have dropped 16 places to 82nd.

Chris Coleman’s men have endured a poor year, with just one victory, over Scotland, coming in between six defeats, which has left their chances of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup all but extinguished.

They have fallen behind fellow Group A strugglers Scotland, who drop two places to 72nd, while the Republic of Ireland have fallen six spots to 42nd position.

Northern Ireland are the only home nations side to improve their ranking.

Michael O’Neill’s side rose 17 places in the last rankings – into the top 100 – and their improvement continues this month, rising four places to 96th.

World and European champions Spain finish the year in the top spot, with Germany and Argentina remaining in second and third place respectively, while Italy move into fourth spot.

A run of six victories in eight games in 2012 has seen Colombia move up from 36th position at the end of last year and into the top five, while Portugal have drifted three places to seventh place in the rankings.

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