England slip down to ninth in latest FIFA world rankings
The release of the latest Fifa world rankings has seen England slip down two places from seventh to ninth, after recent draws against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
Football’s governing body allocates fewer points for results in exhibition matches, hence Brazil’s similar drop from 19th to an all-time low of 22nd, having been restricted to friendly fixtures in the run up to hosting next summer’s World Cup.
Republic of Ireland also dropped in the rankings, two spots to 41, as Wales closed the gap with a rise of four places to 44th.
Scotland also climbed up the table, four places to 74, as Northern Ireland improved three placed to 116.
World and European champions Spain remain in top spot, despite not having been in action since March’s victory over France in World Cup qualification.
Germany, Argentina and Croatia complete the top four, while the Netherlands climb four places to fifth, having won their last six consecutive competitive matches.
This rise sees Portugal and Colombia slip back a place, while Italy and Ecuador occupy the other top 10 spots, either side of Roy Hodgson’s men.
Belgium’s exciting young team have secured their highest ever position in 12th, while Bosnia and Herzegovina’s reward for going a year unbeaten is a best-ever 15th place in the table.
Mali in 23rd and Albania in 38th are also experiencing a new high, having moved up three and five places respectively.