Super Eagles back amongst top ten Africa football playing nations.
Nov. 7 (PREMIUM TIMES) –The Super Eagles have improved in the FIFA rankings released Wednesday as Nigeria moved up six places from 63rd to 57th in the world.
The leap meant the two-time African champions are back amongst the top ten Africa football playing nations.
The 6-1 bashing of the Lone Stars of Liberia last month in Calabar and the subsequent qualification for the 2013 Africa Nations Cup by the Super Eagles influenced the latest ordering by the World football governing body.
Cote d’Ivoire maintained their grip on first place on the content (and 15th in world), followed by Algeria, Mali, Ghana and Zambia.
The Super Eagles group opponents at the 2013 Africa Nations Cup- Zambia , Burkina Faso, and Ethiopia- all made upward movements pointing to some improvement ahead of the showdown in South Africa.
While the Chipolopolo of Zambia moved two steps up to occupy the 5th spot in Africa and 39th in the world, the Wlya Antelopes of Ethiopia moved a massive 16 steps to occupy the 28th spot on the continent.
Nigeria’s last group opponent, the Stallions of Burkina Faso also made two steps up the ladder to stay in the 23rd spot in Africa and 89th in the world.
Before the heartwarming leap by the Eagles in the November edition, the Coach Stephen Keshi tutored side had endured a torturous slide that saw the Eagles ranked outside Africa’s top ten with the likes of Cape Verde and Sierra Leone enjoying placement over Nigeria who at a time were ranked the 5th, the highest ranking of any African country by FIFA.
Though the latest rankings is in favour of the Eagles, the team’s media officer, Ben Alaiya, maintains that the rankings does not entirely capture the strength of the Eagles as compared to other teams.
“We are not bothered about the rankings. It’s somehow laughable when you see the teams that are rated better than us, but that is not to say we are rubbishing the achievements of the teams that have moved over us, the focus remains to build a formidable team that everybody will be proud of and on that we are on course,” Mr. Alaiya opined.
Spain remains the best side in the world, followed by Germany, while Argentina has slipped into third ahead of Portugal. Italy is fifth. The other top 10 members are England, Netherlands, Colombia, Russia and Croatia.