By Ollie Irish
Somehow, dismal England have risen a place in the FIFA world rankings – up to seventh – despite their abject performance in South Africa last month, which resulted in Capello’s lads being ranked 13th of the 32 teams at the World Cup – England’s worst ever WC campaign. I suppose England’s rise proves that there aren’t many decent teams in international football right now.
Portugal, who were knocked out at the same stage as England (Round of 16), dropped five places to eighth. Italy, the 2006 world champs, drop out of the top ten (11th) for the first time in a very long time, perhaps since the rankings were inagurated. Quite right too, as they were abysmal in South Africa, finishing even below New Zealand.
Egypt move into the top ten, proving that in the Crazy World of Sepp Blatter it’s not necessarily a good thing to qualify for the World Cup. Go figure.
The current top ten:
1 Spain – New world champs, up one place from 2nd
2 Holland – The losing World Cup finalists move up from 4th
3 Brazil - Knocked off the top spot after a mediocre campaign in South Africa
4 Germany – Third in South Africa, up two places
5 Argentina – Destroyed by Germany in the World Cup QFs but rise to 5th from 7th
6 Uruguay – A whopping ten-place rise after a brilliant World Cup
7 England – Up one place. Er, why?
8 Portugal – Down five places after a patchy showing in South Africa
9 Egypt - Up three places, despite not playing in the World Cup
10 Chile – Up eight spots after a relatively promising World Cup