England officially the fourth best team in the world according to Fifa rankings
Fans of the Three Lions have widely come to accept that England are a quarter-final team, at best.
Yet according to Fifa, Roy Hodgson's side are better than the likes of Italy, Portugal, Argentina, Netherlands and Brazil.
Many will be surprised at the latest Fifa world rankings, which were published today, which see England rise two places into fourth, especially considering they were knocked out at the last-eight stage of Euro 2012, and have not made a semi-final appearance at a major international tournament since 1996.
Among the teams behind England in the rankings are Italy, who knocked Steven Gerrard and co out of Euro 2012 on penalties, and Portugal, who narrowly missed out on a place in the final.
Perhaps even more shocking is that Brazil have slipped outside the top ten ranked teams. Following friendly defeats to Mexico and Argentina last month, they are now ranked 11th, their lowest position since rankings began in 1992.
The Fifa rankings have regularly come in for criticism for their complexity and the skewed results they produce. They are based on all Fifa-recognised full international matches, which includes friendlies, over the last four years. More recent results, the significance of matches, the strength of opposition and the regional strength of sides all affect the weight given to each game, which explains why Netherlands - who lost all three of their matches at Euro 2012 - have slipped from fourth to eighth.
Following victory at Euro 2012, Spain remain the top ranked side in the world. Germany move up to second while Uruguay are the top ranked South American team in third.
Fifa world rankings:
1. (1) Spain
2. (3) Germany
3. (2) Uruguay
4. (6) England
5. (10) Portugal
6. (12) Italy
7. (7) Argentina
8. (4) Netherlands
9. (8) Croatia
10. (9) Denmark
16. Ivory Coast
26. Republic of Ireland
Latest in Sport
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
Is David Beckham one of the Premier League all-time greats? He's not even in the top 1,000 says Chris Waddle
Groundhog day looms for Arsène Wenger as Arsenal battle for a place in the Champions League on final day
Andre Villas-Boas ready to spark Tottenham revolution
One last swipe at Manchester City and then Sir Alex Ferguson was gone...
- 1 Stoke City investigate 'religious abuse' after 'pig's head is found in Kenwyne Jones' locker'
- 2 Gove’s lesson: spare the comma, spoil the child
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.