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Steady as she goes: Ireland unchanged as FIFA release latest world rankings

Trapattoni’s men remain in 35th spot as Spain come out on top of the pile once again.

Image: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND remain the 35th best footballing nation in the world, according to the February 2011 FIFA rankings which were published earlier this afternoon.

There has been no change in position over the past month for Giovanni Trapattoni’s men whose last outing was the 2-1 friendly defeat to Norway in November.

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.

Today’s ranking brought mixed fortunes for Ireland’s qualification group rivals. While Russia and FYR Macedonia remained unchanged in 12th and 79th positions respectively, both Slovakia and Armenia experienced slight drops to 20th and 62nd spot.

Andorra, who were beaten 3-1 when they travelled to the Aviva in early September, remain rooted to the bottom of the pile in 202nd position.

There were also mixed fortunes for Ireland’s nearest neighbours. While Northern Ireland jumped up five places to 38th, Scotland fell by one to 53rd and Wales, Ireland’s opponents in next week’s Carling Nations Cup opener, dropped three to 116th.

England remain unchanged at number six.

The February 2010 rankings showed no change at the top of the leaderboard with World Champions Spain once again showing the way from fellow finalists Holland, with Germany, Brazil and Argentina rounding out the top five.

Updated standings were only made available for male international sides today. Ireland’s women will have to wait until 18 March to see if they have shifted position since they ranked 27th by FIFA in November 2010.

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Niall Kelly

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