LONDON: The occasional quirkiness of the FIFA World Rankings have been positive for England since Roy Hodgson’s side has climbed to third place in the latest listings – their highest position ever – despite not having played since their Euro 2012 exit in late June writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

England thus moved above Uruguay and trail only Germany and long-time leaders Spain, the world and newly re-crowned European champions. They are three places higher than Italy who beat them in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals and went on to finish runners-up.

Portugal, who reached the semis at Euro 2012, are also lower, as are Holland and Argentina, while 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil are 13th, one position below Greece and three beneath Denmark.

The FIFA rankings are based on all international matches, including friendlies, played in the previous four years. The criteria included are the outcome, status of the match, opponent’s strength and the strength of team’s confederation.

Wins against high-ranking opponents in competitive matches are very valuable, while only results over the last 12 months count in full. Those from the previous year count half, while games played up to three and four years earlier have even less significance.

Since the 2010 World Cup, England’s record reads a respectable won 13, drawn five and lost three.

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