Football

Northern Ireland Leap Ahead Of The Republic In New FIFA World Rankings

Northern Ireland Leap Ahead Of The Republic In New FIFA World Rankings

The Republic of Ireland have dropped three places in the new FIFA World Rankings, leaving them four places behind the resurgent Northern Ireland.

Mick McCarthy's men have 10 points from their opening four games of Euro 2020 qualification after battling for an away draw with 10th-placed Denmark before dispatching with 198th-ranked Gibraltar in Dublin last week.

They now top Group D ahead of Denmark and 9th-ranked Switzerland but it is not enough to stop them sliding down to 32nd in the latest FIFA World Rankings.

But Northern Ireland have leapt up five spaces into 28th following wins on the road against Estonia (99th) and Belarus (82nd).

That means Michael O'Neill's men have a 100% record from their opening four games of Euro 2020 qualification, though they are yet to play 11th-ranked Germany or Nations League runners up Netherlands, who are up two places to 14th in the new FIFA World Rankings.

The two wins for  Northern Ireland gained them 15 world ranking points, shooting them above the likes of the Republic and the USA.

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Meanwhile, Belgium have extended their lead at the top of the FIFA World Rankings, with France's defeat to Turkey seeing them lose 16 ranking points.

The world champions are still second, ahead of Brazil in third, while Portugal's Nations League win sees them up two places to fifth, just behind fourth-placed England.

Eighth-placed Uruguay are surrounded by European countries, with Croatia (sixth), Spain (seventh), Switzerland and Denmark rounding out the top ten.

Wales were the biggest losers in the top 25 as they fell four places to 23rd while Austria climbed eight spots to jump ahead of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to 26th after they beat North Macedonia (73rd) and Slovenia (65th) ahead of the latest world rankings release.

Read More: Five Irish Players Who Impressed During Toulon Tournament And The One Big Issue

Kevin Beirne

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