England rise seven places in rankings

October 17, 2013
Football - International Football - Bet Now at Bet365

England have climbed from 17th to tenth in FIFA's latest world rankings but Roy Hodgson's side will not be one of the eight seeded teams at the 2014 World Cup.

Hosts Brazil and the top seven ranked qualifiers - Spain, Argentina, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Colombia and probably Uruguay - will be kept apart in the group stages of next year's tournament.

Uruguay, who reached the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup, must win a play-off against Jordan next month if they are to be in Brazil. If they are beaten in the two-legged tie, the Netherlands will take the final seed ahead of Italy.

Scotland have moved up 28 places to 35th in the rankings, while Wales are up eight to 44th, Republic of Ireland down one to 60th and Northern Ireland down four to 90th.

Meanwhile, Hodgson insists that now England have qualified for the World Cup finals, they have the opportunity to win the competition for the first time since 1966.

Despite struggling at times during qualifying, England topped their group thanks to victories against Montenegro and Poland in the last week, while Ukraine finished as runners-up and enter next month's two-legged play-offs.

"It isn't always the best team in the competition who wins it," said Hodgson. "We believe we can give a very good account of ourselves and then who knows?

"The important thing is we are there. We know it's going to be a very tough task, especially in Brazil where a European team has never succeeded before.

"But we've grown a lot since the Euros. I'd like to think the team is progressing, the way we play does improve all the time. If we can keep these players together, who knows?"

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