England have fallen below Italy in Fifa’s world rankings despite the Azzurri failing to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.Italy lost to Sweden in a play-off but move up a place to 14th in the world.

England drew with world champions Germany and Brazil in friendlies in November but fall three places to 15th.

Germany remain top of the rankings, while Wales drop five places to 19th, Northern Ireland fall one to 24th and Scotland are down three to 32nd.

Republic of Ireland sit on the same points tally as Scotland in the rankings so the teams share 32nd place with Iran.

Senegal were the biggest month-on-month movers, jumping nine places to 23rd, courtesy of two wins over South Africa which secured their World Cup spot.

Of the four teams beaten in Europe’s World Cup qualifying play-offs, only Italy move up the rankings, despite losing and drawing with Sweden in the month since October’s rankings were published.

Rankings are calculated over a four-year period and the ‘importance’ of any game is one of the elements factored in by Fifa.

Italy’s failure to reach the World Cup in Russia saw coach Giampiero Ventura sacked, while Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport described the defeat as akin to the “apocalypse” in a headline.

Italian FA president Carlo Tavecchio also stepped down from his role less than a week after the second-leg.

Fifa World Cup rankings

1. Germany

2. Brazil

3. Portugal

4. Argentina

5. Belgium

6. Spain

7. Poland

8. Switzerland

9. France

10. Chile

Others: 15 – England; 19 – Wales; 24 – Northern Ireland; 32 – Scotland and Republic of Ireland.

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