England rise in latest FIFA rankings before Euro 2012 tournament



By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 



Pictured: The England team, who are now the sixth best team in the world going into the tournament in Poland & Ukraine, line up before the warm-up match against Norway in Oslo 


England have moved up one place to sixth in the latest FIFA world rankings, while Scotland and Wales have also progressed in an upward direction.

Recent friendly wins over Norway and Belgium have helped Roy Hodgson's side climb above Portugal, who slip five places to 10th after a goalless draw against FYR Macedonia and a 3-1 defeat to Turkey in their Euro 2012 warm-up matches.

World and European champions Spain remain in first spot with 2010 World Cup semi-finalists Uruguay leapfrogging Germany into second place. The Netherlands and Brazil complete the top five.

The Republic of Ireland, who are preparing for their first major tournament in a decade, are unchanged in 18th place. Scotland move up seven positions to 41st despite a 5-1 defeat against the USA last month. Wales also lost last time out against Mexico but still move up three places to 38th.

Northern Ireland, who were crushed 6-0 by the Netherlands last week, were the only home nation to fall in the rankings, sinking three places to 103rd. Poland, despite moving up three places, are the lowest-ranked team in Euro 2012 in 62nd, while fellow host nation Ukraine are 52nd.

Uruguay's position is an all-time high for the South Americans, while fifth-placed Brazil and seventh-placed Argentina make up the rest of the top 10. Croatia and Denmark are the other two European sides who occupy the top 10, while Italy (12th), Russia (13th) and France (14th) sit outside.

The Fifa world rankings are compiled every month with ranking points accumulated according to results, the importance of the matches played and the strength of opposing teams.  

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