Home / Football / Should Wales be in the top ten of the FIFA rankings?

Should Wales be in the top ten of the FIFA rankings?

View image | gettyimages.com

Wales have recently risen to their highest ever position in the FIFA rankings, moving up to 10th ahead of Spain, Italy and Chile and falling just short of England.

Manager Chris Coleman has guided Wales to a number of impressive results recently and no other team has earned more ranking points in the last calendar year. Although it may have been unexpected, Wales sit 10th with 1155 points, just ahead of this year’s Copa America winners Chile and the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship winners Spain.

They have only ever qualified for one major tournament; the World Cup in 1958 losing in the quarter-finals. They have never qualified for the European Championships since its inception in 1960, but stand a good chance to make the tournament next year after a successful qualifying campaign up to now. Wales are top of their group after six games, having won four and drawn two.

With no success in their previous qualifying campaigns over the last four years, their surge in ranking points has evidently come from their friendlies and the recent qualifiers where they have earned decent results.

The 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign was disappointing from Wales winning only three of their games, beating Scotland twice and Macedonia.

Throughout the World Cup qualifying and in the build up to the Euro 2016 qualifiers, Wales finally began to turn their form around in a number of friendlies. With wins against Austria and Iceland, and draws against Finland and Republic of Ireland, they were beginning to contend more in their international matches.

With stars such as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey beginning to play a pivotal role in the team, Wales were full of confidence entering the Euro 2016 qualifiers in the hope of reaching the finals for the first time.

The qualifiers are just over halfway through but Wales have put themselves in a strong position to earn their place in the next stage of the competition. They remain unbeaten after beating Andorra, Cyprus and Israel, drawing with Bosnia and Herzegovina and taking four points from Belgium, who currently sit third in the FIFA rankings.

View image | gettyimages.com

It may be a little surprising that Wales have suddenly risen to the top ten in the rankings given that they were only 117th in August 2011, being mentioned amongst San Marino and the Faroe Islands. It is not a complete shock however, as the rankings are ever changing and there are always surprise teams in the top ten, such as Romania moving up to 8th of late.

Wales are not going to be contending for major titles just yet, which is why it seems strange they are above the likes of Spain, Italy and France, and those who always seem to contend in the tournaments such as Switzerland and Croatia.

They are growing as a national team and it will be interesting to see whether they will remain in the top ten, especially after next year’s European Championships should they qualify. They may also pose a threat to England, who are only just above them and haven’t been performing to their potential in tournament finals in recent times.

Aaron Ramsey european championships fifa Gareth Bale rankings uefa wales World Cup

About Mark Sheppard

I am an 18-year-old Journalism and Media student at De Montfort University, Leicester. I enjoy writing, especially about sport because my interests involve football, snooker, rugby, F1 and tennis.

Check Also

rafa nadal 3

Nadal holds off Nishikori for ninth Barcelona crown

Embed from Getty Images Rafael Nadal has continued his impressive form as the Spaniard overcame ...