Monday 23 January 2017

Ireland fall in world rankings while Wales are just one place behind Brazil

Published 01/10/2015 | 13:44

Shane Long, second from left, Republic of Ireland, celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side's fourth goal. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland.
Shane Long, second from left, Republic of Ireland, celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side's fourth goal. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifier, Group D, Gibraltar v Republic of Ireland.

Ireland have fallen three places to 54th in the latest FIFA world rankings despite victories over Gibraltar and Georgia recently.

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Martin O'Neill and the Boys In Green take on Germany (October 8) and Poland away (October 11) in the final two crucial European Championship Group D qualifiers.

Wales' impressive run to the brink of qualification for Euro 2016 has inspired a climb to eighth in the FIFA world rankings, just one place behind Brazil.

Their last appearance at a major tournament came 57 years ago at the 1958 World Cup but Chris Coleman's team remain undefeated and top of qualification Group B and are expected to secure their place in the next fortnight during fixtures against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Andorra.

England, who became the first nation to qualify for next summer's tournament in France and are also undefeated in Group E, remain 10th.

Scotland have fallen nine places to 40th, following consecutive defeats by Georgia and world champions Germany that look to have ended their own ambition of reaching Euro 2016.

Northern Ireland have climbed six places to 35th. Michael O'Neill's team are also close to reaching Euro 2016 and their first major tournament since the 1982 World Cup. They top Group F after eight fixtures and can seal qualification during the coming round of international matches against Greece and Finland.

Argentina remain first, while Germany have overtaken Belgium by climbing to second. Spain have also returned to the world's top 10.

Press Association

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