England rise to fourth

Scotland, N Ireland and Ireland also climb as Wales slip down

Last Updated: 29/06/11 11:29am

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England have climbed to a joint high fourth spot in Fifa's latest world rankings, while Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have also gone upwards.

Fabio Capello's England side have moved above Brazil and Argentina in the rankings, 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 Championship.

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 Euro 1996.

Unsurprisingly, Spain continue to top the charts ahead of the team they beat in the World Cup final, Netherlands, while Germany have moved up a place to third.

England's points total of 1,146 puts them 16 ahead of fifth-placed Brazil, with Italy, Portugal and Croatia next in the list. Mexico have moved up 19 places to claim a place in the top 10, ahead of Argentina - who complete the top 10.

The Republic of Ireland have won their last two Euro 2012 qualifiers and that form has helped Giovanni Trapattoni's team climb three places to 31 in the standings.

Scotland and Northern Ireland are also on the up. The Scots are now 61st as a result of a five-place leap, with Nigel Worthington's side - one of the countries they moved above - 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.

England's rise is due to the fact that the matches of the World Cup in South Africa last year now count 50% less towards the overall ranking.

Teams that had a strong World Cup but have not had such good results since, such as Uruguay, have experienced a big drop in ranking. Those that did not do so well but have had decent results since then - such as England, Italy and France - have seen a boost in ranking.

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