The latest FIFA World Rankings came out yesterday, to the fulsome mirth and merriment of all interested parties. England, despite all qualitative evidence, have risen to fourth in the table and now sit behind only Spain, Germany and Uruguay. The Germans have swapped places with the South American outfit after a busy month.
Like every other month, England’s position has been pounced upon by observers who quite rightly find it amusing or shocking that England continue to maintain a top ten spot. But this is not an interpretation or meaningful assessment of the pecking order of world football, just a statistical ranking based on lots of complicated factors. Whether England’s position renders it completely inaccurate is another discussion entirely.
And anyway, who really cares?
Without further ado…
Spain’s UEFA Euro 2012 victory and the associated results leave them clear of Germany, Uruguay and England, upon whom Portugal and Italy (England’s last and next opponents) in fifth and sixth are now gaining ground. Argentina, Netherlands, Croatia and Denmark complete the top ten, with Brazil dropping out by virtue of Italy’s rise and their own comparative inactivity.
None of England’s FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying opponents have dropped this month. Ukraine are up six places to 46th, while their Euro 2012 co-hosts, Poland, have jumped eight to 54th. In between them, Montenegro remain in 50th place. Moldova are way down in 139th (up from 140th), while San Marino are of course stone cold bottom, level with Bhutan, Monserrat and Turks & Caicos Islands.