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    Ireland unchanged in first FIFA ranking of 2017

    The Republic of Ireland have begun 2017 as they finished 2016: ranked the 23rd best team in the world by FIFA.

    Just 12 senior international games were played since the last world ranking update and there has been little change in the overall complexion of the table.

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    The top 34 is unchanged, with Argentina still at the summit, closely followed by Brazil and Germany in second and third place.

    Ireland remain just behind the Netherlands and ahead of Turkey as they look forward to their next World Cup qualifier, which comes in March against Wales, who are ranked 12th.

    While Wales and Ireland are unchanged, their qualification rivals Serbia dropped one place to 45th, falling behind Australia, who have risen three positions.

    Northern Ireland, meanwhile, are also unmoved in the table, staying in 32nd place.

    The next update will be announced on February 9.

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