Ireland have climbed one place in the latest FIFA World Rankings, despite having not played a single match in the last three months.
Indeed, given the unfortunate events of last November’s World Cup playoffs, it’s now more than four months since Martin O’Neill’s side last won a match.
However, the latest rankings table sees the Boys in Green climb a single place to joint-31st, still level with Scotland despite the change in position. It is still some way short of the 23rd position they occupied in 2016, but still a whole lot better than the low 60s rank they found themselves in five years ago.
Ireland’s climb is primarily down to a massive slip by Egypt, who fall 13 places from 30th to 43rd – though Mo Salah et all can console themselves in the knowledge that they will be featuring in the World Cup in Russia later this year.
Elsewhere, Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland have fallen slightly, down one place to 26th. Wales, whom Ireland will face again in this year’s UEFA Nations League, also slip one place to 20th, while England remain unchanged in 16th.
Latest FIFA Men’s World Rankings:
16 – England
20 – Wales
26 – Northern Ireland
31= Rep of Ireland
— Bryan Swanson (@skysports_bryan) February 15, 2018
The top ten, meanwhile, remains unchanged as expected – reigning world champions Germany remain top of the pile, with Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium Spain, Poland, Switzerland, France and Chile rounding it out.
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we preview the 2018 SSE Airtricity League season, hear from Ronan Finn, Liam Buckley, Shane Keegan and Ollie Horgan, and we also pay tribute to the great Liam Miller.