Northern Ireland are ranked 45th in the world in the latest rankings - higher than neighbours and rivals the Republic of Ireland for the first time.
And Sanchez told PA Sport: "It´s fantastic news. I´m pleased for all the players who probably used to have the mickey taken out of them when they went back to their clubs. Now they have knocked over teams like England and Spain and have become a credible force on the international scene and capable of beating sides in the top 10 of world football."
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