Germany top FIFA rankings ahead of World Cup

Reigning champions Germany go into the World Cup as the number one team in the world while hosts Russia will be the lowest-ranked team in the tournament.

With little movement in the upper echelons from the last time FIFA published its rankings, Joachim Low's side - bidding to become the first back-to-back winners in 56 years - remain ahead of Brazil at the top.

Belgium, Portugal and Argentina complete the top five while the only change in the top 10 sees Poland up two places to eighth in a straight swap with Spain.

France, the Republic of Ireland's conquerors in last week's friendly, stay in seventh, one place behind Switzerland.

Chile, in ninth, are the highest-ranked team not involved in Russia this summer.

There is no change for Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland at 31, but Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland fall two places to 29 after their recent 3-0 defeat to Costa Rica.

Russia's slide will be partly due to not playing competitive matches during the qualifying process and they are down four places since the last update, dropping them below 67th-ranked Saudi Arabia and down to 70th.

England, previously ranked 13th, go into the tournament officially joint-12th alongside Denmark, while Wales rise three places to 18th and Scotland slump eight places to 42nd.

More in this Section

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United signings

Transport police interrupt alleged anti-Semitic chanting on Brighton train

Gary Neville: New Man Utd boss must meet three key principles of club

5 contenders for Manchester United job


Making Cents: Planning for your financial future

Dive right in for Christmas swim in aid of a good cause

In the frame during a big year for comics

Musical theatre review: Les Miserables

More From The Irish Examiner