England are better than Brazil (so say the Fifa rankings)


England have leapfrogged five-times world champions Brazil and climbed to fifth in the Fifa world rankings on the back of victories over Spain and Sweden. Fabio Capello's side recorded two 1-0 friendly wins in the space of four days at Wembley earlier this month, which has lifted them two places, although they are some way adrift of Uruguay in fourth.

World and European champions Spain remain top, ahead of the Netherlands and Germany. Brazil, Portugal, Croatia, Italy and Argentina complete the top 10.

The Republic of Ireland rose four spots to 21st and Scotland climbed two to 49th, overtaking Wales, who slipped to 50th despite beating Norway 4-1 this month. Northern Ireland, who remain without a manager following Nigel Worthington's resignation in October, fell five places to 89th.

Meanwhile, England will not have to play any qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in June 2013, giving them more time off at the end of the domestic season. They will begin their Group H schedule in Moldova on 7 September 2012 and face minnows San Marino twice in the first five games.

England's campaign finishes with a home game against Poland on 15 October 2013.

World Cup qualifiers


Sept 7: Moldova (away)

Sept 11: Ukraine (home)

Oct 12: SanMarino (home)

Oct 16: Poland (away)


March 22: San Marino (away)

March 26: Montenegro (away)

Sep 6: Moldova (home)

Sep 10: Ukraine (away)

Oct 11: Montenegro (home)

Oct 15: Poland (home)