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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 31 March, 2020
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Ireland up one as FIFA release latest rankings

Victory over Wales in last month’s Carling Nations Cup is enough to move Ireland up to 34th.

Image: ©INPHO/Getty Images

THE LATEST WORLD rankings were released earlier this afternoon by footballing governing body FIFA, ranking Ireland as the 34th best team in the world.

The table sees Giovanni Trapattoni’s men move up one spot since the previous rankings were released at the start of February.

Since then, Ireland have only played one game, with goals from Darron Gibson, Damien Duff and Keith Fahey giving them a 3-0 win over Wales in the Carling Nations Cup.

The team’s current ranking, however, still represents a drop of a couple of places from 32nd spot which the side reached in October following their impressive opening to the Euro 2012 qualification campaign.

Ireland’s major rivals in the battle for Euro 2012 qualification all dropped places in today’s rankings. Russia dropped one place to 13th and Slovakia dropped by two to 22nd.

Meanwhile, Macedonia – who Ireland will host at the Aviva Stadium at the end of the month – dropped four places to 83rd.

At the top of the rankings, there are no major changes as World Cup-winners Spain continue to lead the way from the Netherlands and Germany.

Behind this European top three lie Argentina and Brazil, with the Argentinians’ recent run of form allowing them to reverse placings with their neighbours at four and five.

Sergio Batista’s side were rewarded for a 2-1 friendly victory over Portugal at the start of February, while Brazil’s 1-0 loss to France on the same evening caused them to drop.

Fabio Capello’s England remain in sixth place following their 2-1 victory over Denmark in Copenhagen.

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Niall Kelly

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