Australia up four places in FIFA rankings

Ben McKay

Australia have leapt up the final FIFA rankings before this month's World Cup and will enter the tournament in their best position since 2012.

The Socceroos' first win under Bert van Marwijk improved the team four places to 36th in the standings.

Australia beat Czech Republic 4-0 in Austria last week - their first win over a European opponent on European soil for eight years - with Mat Leckie scoring a double.

The Socceroos were in the same position before March's 4-1 loss to Norway, but haven't been ranked higher since coming in 33rd in November 2012.

Their best position of 14th was achieved in 2009.

It makes the Socceroos the top-ranked side from Asia, ahead of Iran in 37th spot.

The top seven teams remained unchanged in the final rankings update before the tournament kicks off next week.

Reigning champions Germany will begin the tournament as the world's No.1 ranked side, in front of Brazil, Belgium and Portugal.

Australia's group stage opponents - France, Denmark and Peru - remain unchanged at 7th, 12th and 11th respectively.

Hosts Russia are the lowest-ranked side at the 2018 event, ranked 70th.

1. Germany (1)

2. Brazil (2)

3. Belgium (3)

4. Portugal (4)

5. Argentina (5)

6. Switzerland (6)

7. France (7)

8. Poland (10)

9. Chile (9)

10. Spain (8)

11. Peru (11)

12. Denmark (12)

(tie) England (13)

14. Uruguay (17)

15. Mexico (15)

16. Colombia (16)

17. Netherlands (19)

18. Wales (21)

19. Italy (20)

20. Croatia (18)

Adds:

36. Australia (40).