The Republic of Ireland have surged into the top 25 in the latest FIFA World Rankings.
Aided by their World Cup qualification victory against Austria in Vienna earlier this month, Martin O’Neill’s side have moved ten places up the ladder to 23rd place, in between the Netherlands and Turkey.
In a year that saw Ireland emerge from a Euro 2016 group that contained Sweden, Belgium and Italy (beating the latter along the way), the Boys in Green have continued continued their fine run of results with an unbeaten start to their group in their quest to qualify for the next World Cup, winning three and drawing one of their opening four fixtures.
Considering Ireland were hovering in and round the mid-60s when O’Neill took over in November 2013, the progress he has made with this team has been quite remarkable. 23rd is comfortably their highest rank in four years.
Ireland up 10 places to 23rd in the FIFA rankings, the highest they have been since 2012 when they were 18th from April to June.
— Neil O’Riordan (@noriordan) November 24, 2016
The teams they leap past include their most recent opponents Austria, who drift one place to 31st, but also the likes of USA, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Turkey and Ukraine.
Despite an unbeaten start to their group, England slip back one place to 13th. They remain one place behind Wales (Ireland’s next opponents) who also slip one to 12th.
Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland rise four places to 32nd, while Scotland’s freefall shows no sign of slowing down as they slip ten places to 67th, below nations such as Benin, Uzbekistan and Panama.
There is no change at the top as Argentina’s shaky form in World Cup qualification has not been enough to see them dislodged from the summit, but Tite’s resurgent Brazil have moved ahead of Germany into second place.
Chile move up two places to fourth place, leapfrogging Belgium and Colombia who drop one place each. There are no other changes in the top ten, with France, Portugal, Uruguay and Spain all maintaining seventh to tenth places respectively.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) November 24, 2016