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France sink to all-time rankings low

France forward Kevin Gameiro reacts to his country's 1-0 defeat to Belarus in Paris earlier this month.
France forward Kevin Gameiro reacts to his country's 1-0 defeat to Belarus in Paris earlier this month.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • France slide six place to lowest-ever 27th in latest FIFA world rankings
  • The French were knocked out of World Cup in group stage and lost first Euro 2012 qualifier
  • Germany have moved up to third and England have moved up to sixth in table
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(CNN) -- France have slipped to 27th place in the FIFA world rankings, their lowest position since football's governing body introduced the table in 1993.

The drop reflects a slump in the team's fortunes on the field, including a disastrous performance at the 2010 World Cup.

Les Bleus, world champions in 1998 and finalists in 2006, were knocked out in the group stage in South Africa without winning a game after a campaign overshadowed by infighting, which led to Nicolas Anelka being sent home following a spat with coach Raymond Domenech.

Anelka's team-mates then went on strike in protest at his expulsion, resulting in bans for the Chelsea striker, captain Patrice Evra, star winger Franck Ribery and midfielder Jeremy Toulalan.

Things haven't gone much better under new coach Laurent Blanc, with the French losing their opening 2012 European Championship qualifier to Belarus in Paris before steadying the ship with a 2-0 win over Bosnia Herzegovina.

World champions Spain remain top of the FIFA rankings, with beaten finalists the Netherlands in second.

Germany are third after moving ahead of five-time World Cup winners Brazil and Argentina are fifth.

England have gone up to sixth after impressive wins over Bulgaria and Switzerland in their first two Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Elsewhere Montenegro, FIFA's newest national team, moved into the top 50 for the first time (40th) after winning their first two qualifiers.

And Cyprus have surged up 20 places to their highest ranking of 43rd after a shock 4-4 draw with Portugal earlier this month.