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Wales go above England in FIFA rankings

Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring against Belgium
Image: Gareth Bale has helped Wales rise to ninth in the FIFA rankings

England are below Wales in the FIFA rankings for the first time, after falling two places to 10th.

Wales have remained ninth, a place below Chile, who have moved up as a result of winning the Copa America during the summer.

The placing as Britain's highest-ranked nation represents a remarkable rise for Wales, who were 117th in the world in 2011, and who are on the verge of qualifying for their first international championship since the 1958 World Cup.

Welsh manager Chris Coleman himself appeared unconcerned by the rankings shift, saying: "The rankings won't get us to France (for the European Championship). I wish it would but they won't."

England remain above Spain – who are 11th – and the Netherlands, who are 12th despite reaching the World Cup semi-finals in 2014.

Cyprus v Wales preview
Cyprus v Wales preview

Wales travel to Cyprus for Thursday's European Qualifier, knowing they are close to a finals berth.

The rankings, introduced in 1992, are determined by a points system which takes into account results of all FIFA-recognised full international matches over the past four years. Different weighting is applied, with most recent results counting for more.

Wales are currently top in their European Qualification group with 14 points from six games, while England have won all six of their qualifiers to date.

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Wales manager Chris Coleman says his players haven't discussed potential qualification for Euro 2016 yet

Beaten World Cup finalists Argentina, who also lost in the Copa America final, are top of the rankings, with Belgium second and world champions Germany third.

Scotland have risen one place to 31st, Northern Ireland have dropped one to 41st and the Republic of Ireland have also slipped down a notch, to 51st.

In total, 208 countries make up the rankings and rock bottom are the Bahamas.

Latest FIFA rankings: 1 Argentina, 2 Belgium, 3 Germany, 4 Colombia, 5 Brazil, 6 Portugal, 7 Romania, 8 Chile, 9 Wales, 10 England (31 Scotland, 41 Northern Ireland, 51 Republic of Ireland).

Live Euro 2016 Qualifiers

Watch Cyprus v Wales on Thursday night. Coverage begins on Sky Sports 1 at 7pm.

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