Ireland have climbed one place to 31st in the Fifa world rankings, despite missing out on this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.
Martin O’Neill’s side move up even though they have not won a game for four months and were thumped by Denmark in the World Cup play-off second-leg in November at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland’s dreams of making it to Russia were shattered in Dublin as the Christian Eriksen-inspired visitors ran riot in the second leg winning 5-1.
It was a desperately disappointing result for Martin O’Neill’s men but the rankings reflect an otherwise solid campaign.
They remain level in the rankings with Scotland, who also climbed one position.
Northern Ireland slip one place to 26th after they also missed out on this summer’s World Cup through the play-offs, while Wales also move down a place to 20th. England remain unchanged in 16th place.
Reigning world champions Germany continue on top, followed by Brazil and then Portugal are in third.
The rest of the top ten is made up of Argentina, Belgium Spain, Poland, Switzerland, France and Chile.
The biggest losers were Egypt, who slipped 13 places from 30th to 43rd, while Conga are the biggest gainers from 96th to 88th.
Ireland will travel to face Turkey in their first fixture of 2018 in a friendly in Antalya on 23 March, which follows a four-day training camp in the country.