Eurosport - Wed, 03 Mar 10:34:00 2010
Fabio Capello's England, who face African champions Egypt in a friendly at Wembley on Wednesday, swapped places in the top 10 of the updated table with Argentina.
England qualified for the World Cup in emphatic fashion, losing only one qualifying match. That defeat came in Ukraine, once their qualification for the finals in South Africa had already been confirmed.
Meanwhile, Argentina, managed by legendary player Diego Maradona, scraped through qualifying in their final match with a dramatic win over Uruguay.
European champions Spain remain at the top of the rankings. Vicente del Bosque's team, along with second-placed Brazil, have opened a considerable gap over the rest of the world's top nations, led by third-placed Netherlands.
France, who also reached South Africa via a play-off, remain in seventh, while 2004 European champions Greece burst into the top 10 after rising above Croatia and Russia, who both failed to qualify for South Africa.
FIFA World Rankings
39) Republic of Ireland
40) Northern Ireland