Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland move above Republic of Ireland in FIFA world rankings

Josh Magennis scored a late winner for Northern Ireland in Estonia earlier this summer.
Josh Magennis scored a late winner for Northern Ireland in Estonia earlier this summer.

Northern Ireland have moved back above the Republic of Ireland in the latest update to the FIFA world rankings.

Michael O'Neill's rise is up five places to 28th after their victories over Estonia and Belarus while Mick McCarthy's Republic are down three to 32nd despite their credible draw in Denmark and a 2-0 home win over Gibraltar.

Northern Ireland are now back within eight places of their best ever ranking of 20th, achieved back in 2017 during the World Cup qualifying campaign that ultimately saw the team miss out on a place at the finals only due to the now infamous refereeing decision in the play-off defeat to Switzerland.

A run of eight competitive games without victory left O'Neill's men down in 35th place before their historic four consecutive victories to kick off the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign has heralded a rise back up the list.

Northern Ireland have moved above the USA, Slovakia, Venezuela and Serbia as well as the Republic.

The Republic have fallen behind Austria and Slovakia.

Northern Ireland's Group C rivals Germany and the Netherlands are both up to places, the Germans to 11th and the Dutch to 14th.

There is no change in the top four, with England still fourth behind Belgium, France and Brazil.

Scotland have dropped one place to 45th while Wales are down four to 23nd.

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