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Ireland climb as Dutch dip

Ireland have moved up four places in the FIFA world rankings ahead of their Euro 2012 qualification play-off with Estonia.

Giovanni Trapattoni's side are now up 25th in the world, with Holland losing ground on Spain following a 3-2 defeat to Sweden earlier this month.

The Dutch still occupy second place behind Spain, who recorded a 23rd consecutive home victory, beating Scotland in their final qualifying match.

But Bert van Marwijk's side suffered the biggest points drop of any nation in the rankings - losing 146.

The biggest gain was made by Wales, who ended their Euro 2012 qualifiers on a high with victories over Switzerland and Bulgaria. Gary Speed's team earned 245 points, enough to move them up 45 places to 45th.

England moved up one place to seventh, while Greece nudged up three places to sit in eighth after booking their qualification for the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine next summer.

Scotland managed to move up one place to 51st despite missing out on qualification after their defeat to Spain, while Northern Ireland dropped 14 places to 84th.


From Belfast Telegraph