Wales make biggest yearly leap in Fifa rankings

Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey celebrate victory over Montenegro
Wales started the year below Sudan and Oman in the world rankings

Wales won the most points of any nation in the Fifa world rankings during 2011, allowing them to move into the top 50 for the first time since April 2003.

Having started 2011 ranked 113th in the world, a run of four wins from their last five games sees Wales finish the year in 48th place.

The recent revival under the late Gary Speed helped Wales amass a total of 330 points under Fifa's system.

Sierra Leone, with 302 points, were their nearest challengers.

The Republic of Ireland, who have qualified for the finals of Euro 2012, were the 10th highest points earners of 2011 with 183.

Wales follow The Netherlands (2010), Algeria and Brazil (2009) and Spain (2008) in winning the title of Best Mover of the Year.

The top 10 of the world rankings are unchanged from November, which means Spain finish in first place for the fourth successive year.

The world and European champions won nine of 12 games in 2011, but end the year with 323 fewer points than 12 months ago.

Holland, Germany, Uruguay and England complete the top five nations.

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