Ireland have slipped to 49 in the latest men’s world rankings, released by FIFA.
A disappointing Uefa Nations campaign that included three defeats, two wins and one draw – resulting in a third-place finish – has dropped Stephen Kenny’s two places in the standings.
Ireland were positioned 34 when Kenny took charge in 2020 but an erratic two-year spell, that has overseen just seven wins in 28 matches, contributed to the decline.
Their worst fall was to 51 following last year’s defeats to Serbia and Luxembourg that all but ended their World Cup qualifying ambitions after 180 minutes.
As Nations League finishes determine the seedings for this Sunday’s Euro 2024 draw in Frankfurt, Ireland will be amongst the third pot of nations. The qualifiers are scheduled between March and November of 2023.
A total of 53 Nations League matches and 119 friendlies were played in the last international break before the World Cup which begins on November 20 in Qatar.
Brazil (1st, -) will embark on their bid to win a sixth world title top of the table.
By beating Ghana and Tunisia in their two friendlies last week, A Seleçao widened the gap between themselves and their nearest challengers, Belgium (2nd, -), who lost to Netherlands (8th, -) in the Nations League. Argentina (3rd, -) complete the podium.
Just behind lie reigning world champions France (4th, -), followed by England (5th, -). The only change in the top 10 saw Italy (6th, plus 1) leapfrog Spain (7th, minus 1), who drop down a place.
There is more movement further down the ranking.
Croatia (12th, plus 3) rose three places, while IR Iran (20th, plus 2) moved into the top 20, followed closely by Serbia (21st, plus 4), who gained four places.
The biggest movers were teams who failed to qualify for Qatar 2022, namely Scotland (40th, plus 5), who beat Ireland 2-1, and Azerbaijan (123rd, plus 5), both five places higher.
Wales are in 19th while Northern Ireland have dropped to 59th. Ireland could be drawn with either in Sunday’s 11am draw.
Algeria (37th), Georgia (78th), Mauritania (103rd) and Suriname (139th) all ascended four places.
Click here to view the complete ranking.