The latest FIFA World Rankings make positive reading for Northern Ireland, but less so for Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland side.
Michael O’Neill’s men enjoyed wins in a friendly against New Zealand and a World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan to climb six places from 28th to 22nd in the latest world rankings announced on Thursday, their highest-ever placing in the list.
The Republic of Ireland, meanwhile, had decidedly mixed fortunes last month. A 3-1 defeat to Mexico in New Jersey was followed up by a victory of the same scoreline against Uruguay, topped off with a 1-1 draw against Austria in a World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium. They slip from 26th to 29th.
Elsewhere, England remain in 13th but it was a bad month for Wales as they slipped seven places to 20th. Scotland, meanwhile, climb three places to 58th.
At the top end of the rankings, Germany’s Confederations Cup success has helped them leapfrog Brazil and Argentina to the top of the pile. The 2014 World Cup winners had not been at number one for two years before this month. As a result, Brazil and Argentina slip to second and third respectively.
It was a great month for Portugal, Switzerland and Poland all moved up four places to fourth, fifth and sixth respectively, while Chile, Colombia, France and Belgium have all dropped three places to seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth.
Spain once again fall out of the top ten to eleventh, wth Italy behind them in twelfth.
FIFA World Rankings July 2017:
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) July 6, 2017
22. Northern Ireland
29. Republic of Ireland
On this week’s edition of the Mixer Irish Football Podcast we dissected Bray Wanderers’ perilous financial situation with Cormac Byrne of the Irish Mirror, and caught up with Bohemians’ Keith Ward to discuss both his and his team’s fine league form.