• World Cup

England set for rankings plummet after poor World Cup

ESPN staff
July 5, 2014
England have not been outside the top 20 of the FIFA world rankings since 1996 © PA Photos

England's early World Cup exit means they could be set for their lowest position in the FIFA World Ranking over the last 18 years.

Roy Hodgson's side had a tournament to forget in Brazil, finishing bottom of Group D with just a point, while they were eliminated after only two games.

Defeats against Italy and Uruguay, as well as a draw against Costa Rica, coupled with pre-World Cup friendly draws against Ecuador and Honduras, mean Hodgson's men are set to plummet in the ranking when released later this month.

According to the Daily Mirror, should Costa Rica beat Netherlands in their World Cup quarter-final on Saturday or take the game into extra time, then England, who arrived in Brazil ranked 10th in the world, will drop to 20th.

This will represent the nation's lowest ranking since Terry Venable's side were 24th before the 1996 European Championship, a tournament in which they went on to reach the semi-finals on home soil.

England have not dropped out of the top 20 since then, while they rose to fourth in March 2013. With the seedings for the 2018 World Cup UEFA qualifying to be announced next July, England face a race to climb back up the ranking.

When the latest ranking has been confirmed, Hodgson's men will be viewed as the 11th-best team in Europe, yet they would need to be inside the top nine to be seeded for the qualifying round.

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