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Jun 29, 2011

Official: England better than Brazil

England have moved above Brazil into fourth in FIFA's latest World Rankings.

The last time England were as high as fourth was in 1997, when they moved up as a result of reaching the semi-finals as hosts of the European Championships.

Spain continue to lead the rankings, with Netherlands second and Germany in third. England climbed two places, above Brazil and Argentina (now 10th) though that seems certain to be reversed after next month's Copa America is taken into consideration.

Italy, Portugal, Croatia and Mexico are the other nations in the top ten.

It is a surprising leap for Fabio Capello's side, with England drawing 2-2 at home to Switzerland in a Euro 2012 qualifying match this month. Capello continues to be under a great deal of pressure with a place at the European Championships far from certain.

England's main contenders for an automatic place in the Poland and Ukraine finals are Montenegro, who climb a further eight places to be ranked 16th. They were 74th when the qualifying draw was made in February 2010.

Mexico are up 19 places into ninth after winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Jamaica's performance in the tournament moves them up 17 places to 38th.

England's rise is due to the fact that the matches of the World Cup in South Africa last year now count 50% less towards the overall ranking. Teams that had a strong World Cup but have not had such good results since, such as Uruguay, have experienced a big drop in ranking. Those that did not do so well but have had decent results since then - such as England, Italy and France - have seen a boost in ranking.

The FIFA rankings are calculated based on four years of results:
• Games between 22 Aug 2007 - 1 June 2008 have a value of 20%.
• Games between 20 Aug 2008 - 10 June 2009 have a value of 30%.
• Games between 12 Aug 2009 and 27 June 2010 have a value of 50%.
• Games between 11 Aug 2010 and 4 June 2011 have a value of 100%.

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