England rise to world's top 10

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The Independent Football

England's crushing 5-1 victory over Germany has helped push Sven Goran Eriksson's side into the top 10 of the official Fifa world rankings, their highest position in over two years.

The run of success England have enjoyed under the Swedish coach means they are now rated ninth in the world, a ranking they last enjoyed in the early days of Kevin Keegan's time in charge.

Thanks to their resounding defeat in Munich, Germany have tumbled out of the top 10, slipping seven places to 12th.

France continue to be the world's top team, despite losing their last game in Chile, while Argentina, joint favourites for next year's World Cup with Roger Lemerre's side, have nearly overhauled Brazil in second after their recent 2-1 win over them in Buenos Aires.

Portugal have overtaken Spain and now occupy fifth while the Netherlands, despite being eliminated from World Cup contention by the Republic of Ireland, are still in the top 10 at eight.

Of the other home countries, Scotland have dropped to 48th, equal with Bulgaria and lower than Iran, Honduras, Costa Rica, Japan, the Ivory Coast, Slovenia and Egypt. At the start of the year Craig Brown's side were rated in the mid-20's, but recent failures in their World Cup qualifying campaign have seen them slide.

The Republic of Ireland are joint 21st, Northern Ireland move up 10 places to 97th and Wales are ranked in the 105th spot.

WORLD TOP 20 (previous ranking in brackets): 1 (1) France 810pts; 2 (2) Brazil 799; 3 (3) Argentina 794; 4 (4) Italy 737; 5 (9) Portugal 732; 6 (7) Spain 730; 7 (6) Colombia 719; 8 (10) Netherlands 717; 9 (15) England 712; 10 (12) Mexico 711; 11 (11) Paraguay 710; 12 (5) Germany 708; 13 (13) Yugoslavia 705; 14 (7) Czech Republic 704; 15 (14) Romania 695; 16 (17) Croatia 674; 17 (19) Sweden 673; 18 (18) Denmark 664; 19 (16) United States 660; 20 (23) Honduras 656. Others: 21 (25) Republic of Ireland 653; 48 (38) Scotland 586; 97 (107) Northern Ireland 446; 105 (105) Wales 428.

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