World Cup - England drop to sixth in FIFA rankings

England have slipped a place to sixth in the FIFA rankings, with Northern Ireland the only of the home nations to improve their standing.

Euro 2012 finalists Italy, the side who eliminated England in that competition, replace Roy Hodgson's side in the top five.

England played two World Cup qualifiers in the eligibility period, with a regulation 5-0 win over San Marino and 1-1 draw in Poland.

Spain and Germany remained unmoved in first and second, with Argentina climbing into third above Portugal, who slip to fourth following their surprise home draw against the Northern Irish.

Michael O'Neill's men enjoyed a leap of 17 places thanks to that result, moving to 100 in the standings.

The Republic of Ireland slipped eight spots to 36th after a 6-1 hammering by Germany.

Scotland, who sacked Craig Levein as manager this week, have dropped below Wales after being beaten 2-1 in their head-to-head match last month.

Scotland drifted by 14 to 70th while a 2-0 defeat in Croatia meant Wales also dropped from 57th to 66th.

Elsewhere Fabio Capello's Russia have moved into the top 10 after a strong start to their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Brazil, whose next game is against Colombia next week, thumped Iraq 6-0 and Japan 4-0 yet rose only one place in the controversial table, from a record low 14th to 13th.

Despite winning most of their games, the 2014 World Cup hosts, who qualify automatically for the tournament, have been slipping steadily down the table over the last year as they have only been playing friendlies which carry less weight in the complex system.

Mano Menezes's side have played 19 games since the Copa America last year, winning 15.

South American champions Uruguay's dramatic loss of form cost them a place in the top 10 as they slipped from seventh to 11th.

They were thumped 3-0 by neighbours Argentina in World Cup qualifying and slumped to a 4-1 defeat in Bolivia.

1. (1) Spain

2. (2) Germany

3. (4) Argentina

4. (3) Portugal

5. (8) Italy

6. (5) England

7. (6) Netherlands

8. (9) Colombia

9. (12) Russia

10. (11) Croatia