england israel soccer 22.
(photo credit: AP)
Israel dropped four places to No. 37 in the latest FIFA rankings released by world soccer's governing body on Wednesday.
Recent losses to Croatia in early October and England last month have left the national team in a state of disarray.
The Israelis are now placed one spot below non-mover Northern Ireland and just one above Iran which rose four places.
Israel has 707 points while Iran is close behind on 704.
The defeat by Croatia in Zagreb ensured that Dror Kashtan's side has no chance of qualifying for the 2008 European Championship, although the November 17 qualifier against Russia in Ramat Gan is still significant as it could decide whether England or the Russians qualify from Group E.
England dropped two spots to No. 11 after a 2-1 loss at Russia that put its qualification for Euro 2008 in doubt.
Russia was the biggest climber in the top 50, moving up 10 places to 16th - its best placing in 10 years.
Meanwhile, Argentina returned to the top of soccer's world rankings with World Cup champion Italy dropping two places to third.
Argentina climbed one spot after wins over Chile and Venezuela in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. Brazil beat Ecuador 5-0 and drew at Colombia to also climb one place.
Italy played just one game in European Championship qualifying, although it did beat Georgia 2-0.
Its minor decline was because victories from previous years, especially its win against Ukraine in October 2006, are now worth fewer points.
Argentina has 1,533 points, 74 more than Brazil and 146 more than Italy. France rose two places to fourth, while Germany dropped a spot to fifth despite securing its place at next year's European Championship.
Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Czech Republic and Croatia rounded out the top 10.
Scotland rose to 13th, two places behind traditional rival England, for its highest position since FIFA introduced its rankings in 1993.
Mexico dropped two spots to 15th but was still three places above the United States, which stayed fixed at No. 18.
Nigeria climbed four to 19th and stayed the highest ranked African team, while No. 30 Japan was the best Asian team.
The next rankings are published November 23.
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