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Page last updated at 10:10 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 11:10 UK

England slump to worst World Cup ranking

Downcast England players

Highlights - Germany 4-1 England

England's performance at South Africa 2010 was officially their worst at a World Cup finals, according to Fifa.

The governing body's post-tournament rankings placed Fabio Capello's side 13th out of the 32 teams following their tame exit in the last 16.

Their previous worst placing was 11th in 1958 and this year's ranking is six places lower than England's showing in 2006 and seven below their 2002 rating.

Winners Spain were top followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Uruguay.

England failed to qualify for the World Cup in 1974, 1978 and 1994.

They went out in the last 16 this time after scraping through a group that included the United States, Slovenia and Algeria, before losing 4-1 to Germany in the last 16 - their heaviest World Cup defeat.

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England went out in the group stage of the 1950 and 1958 tournaments, when there were only 16 teams in the tournament, but still managed to rank higher than 13th.

The World Cup was expanded from to 24 teams in 1982 and to 32 in 1998.

Fifa's rankings take into account group stage results, progress in the competition and the quality of opposition.

The top four rankings mirrored the final positions in the tournament.

Of the beaten quarter-finalists, Argentina were fifth, Brazil sixth, Ghana seventh and Paraguay eighth.

Japan, Chile, Portugal and the US were all higher than England in the table, while 2006 World Cup winners Italy were 26th and France, who triumphed in 1998, were 29th after their dismal group stage exits.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter suggested England's poor performance could be explained by the number of foreigners in the Premier League but also pointed to the overall strength of teams at what turned out to be an unpredictable World Cup.

"England is considered as being the motherland of football, as Brazil is the heartbeat of football, but there are no small national teams any more," he said.

"There are small countries but their national teams are very strong as football has developed."

Despite England's poor showing at the tournament, the Football Association decided to stick with Capello, whose contract runs until the 2012 European Championship.

Attention now turns to the friendly against Hungary at Wembley on 11 August and the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, which starts in September with back-to-back fixtures against Bulgaria and Switzerland.

Capello will discuss his plans at an FA Board meeting on Thursday.

Fifa's latest world rankings will be released on Wednesday, with world champions Spain poised to reclaim top spot from Brazil.

Semi-finalists Uruguay are likely to jump up from their current 16th place, while England (eighth), Italy (fifth) and France (ninth) could all drop down following their under-par results in South Africa.

Fifa 2010 World Cup standings:

1 Spain, 2 Netherlands, 3 Germany, 4 Uruguay, 5 Argentina, 6 Brazil, 7 Ghana, 8 Paraguay

9 Japan, 10 Chile, 11 Portugal, 12 United States, 13 England, 14 Mexico, 15 South Korea, 16 Slovakia

17 Ivory Coast, 18 Slovenia, 19 Switzerland, 20 South Africa, 21 Australia, 22 New Zealand, 23 Serbia, 24 Denmark

25 Greece, 26 Italy, 27 Nigeria, 28 Algeria, 29 France, 30 Honduras, 31 Cameroon, 32 North Korea

England's past World Cup rankings:

1950 (8th), 1954 (6th), 1958 (11th), 1962 (8th), 1966 (1st), 1970 (8th), 1982 (6th), 1986 (8th), 1990 (4th), 1998 (9th), 2002 (6th), 2006 (7th)



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see also
Capello to remain as England boss
02 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello gets more backing from FA
01 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Mueller blames England imbalance
30 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Blatter sorry for disallowed goal
29 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Barwick baffled by dismal England
29 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010


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