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Scots now just outside top 20

SCOTLAND have climbed to an impressive 22nd place in this month's FIFA world rankings and were the most improved country in the world.

The national side continued its excellent recent run of form with a 1-0 friendly victory in Poland last month, enough for Scotland to jump 15 places to 22nd.

The Scots have risen a remarkable 47 places since Gordon Strachan was appointed in January last year.

When the former Celtic manager took over, Scotland were languishing in 69th place and even dropped as low as 78th spot four months later.

Wins, though, against the likes of Croatia, Norway and the Poles, have meant Scotland are on the cusp of joining the top-20 teams in the world.

It is the Scots' best placing for almost five years, and they have now risen above the likes of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sweden, Denmark, Serbia, Turkey and are 23 places above their next opponents, Nigeria, who they face in London in May.

Judging solely by their ranking - alas, things are never so simple - Scotland should comfortably qualify for Euro 2016. Although Germany will be second, Ireland will be 65th, Poland 72nd, Georgia 103rd, with Gibraltar not having a ranking yet because they are a new nation.

Scotland's best-ever position was 13th in October 2007 and their lowest was 88th in March 2005.

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