SCOTLAND have ended 2017 at number 32 in the FIFA ranking, level with the Republic of Ireland. 

The Scots lost just one game in a year, last month's friendly defeat to the Netherlands, but failed in their bid to qualify for next summer's World Cup under Gordon Strachan. 

Four wins and a draw from their final five matches gave the Tartan Army hope of securing a play-off spot, but a 2-2 draw away to Slovenia on the final day of qualifying ensured that the wait for a return to a major finals goes on. 

The end-of-year ranking of 32 is a marked improvement on last year, when Strachan's side finished 2016 in 67th place. 

A new permanent manager of the national team is yet to be named, with Scottish FA performance director Malky Mackay overseeing the defeat to the Dutch at Pittodrie in November. 

Scotland are level with the Republic of Ireland and Iran in the ranking, while Northern Ireland are 24th, Wales are 19th and England 15th. 

Germany have finished 2017 top of the pile, with Brazil just behind and Portugal in third place. Argentina and Belgium complete the top five. 

End of year FIFA ranking

1. Germany

2. Brazil

3. Portugal

4. Argentina

5. Belgium

6. Spain

7. Poland

8. Switzerland

9. France

10. Chile

Home nation ranking

15. England

19. Wales 

24. Northern Ireland 

32. Scotland