Italy beat England in the Euro 2012 tournament’s quarter-final in Kiev and went on to make the finals.
FIFA rankings are based on all international matches, and so include friendlies. The rather complex system only counts results from the past 12 months in full, and then allocates points on a sliding scale for matches played in the previous year and up to four years earlier.
However, the England team’s place in the world rankings will surely call FIFA’s methods into question, as it places the consistently disappointing side above Portugal – who reached the semi-final stage of Euro 2012 – and even world-renowned side Argentina.
Perhaps even more bizarre, Brazil are placed 13th, below Greece and Denmark.
England has not reached the final four matches of a major football competition since 1996.
FIFA stated that England had accumulated most of their points in the qualifying rounds of the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, which is why they are placed above sides that have proven themselves clearly superior at knock-out stage.