The country’s national football team, the Super Eagles, is gradually climbing up the ladder on the monthly Federation International Football Association (FIFA)rankings.
The Eagles, previously ranked 60th in the world, moved up two places to occupy the 58th spot in the July edition of the rankings released by world
football governing body, FIFA.
The two steps gained, means Nigeria is back among the top ten teams in Africa.
Victories in their opening 2014 qualifiers and the 2-0 win over Rwanda during the 2013 Nations Cup qualifiers helped Nigeria in the latest ranking.
There was no change in the top five sides on the continent, with Ivory Coast still ranked number one and the only African side in the world top 20.
World and European champions – Spain – remain the top side in the world, while Brazil fell to an all time low of 11th.
Many see the marginal move by the Eagles on the FIFA rankings as a welcome development having previously endured a slide since the beginning of 2012.
Expectedly, performances at Euro 2012 had an impact on places. Winners Spain, stayed at the top of the ranking; while semi-finalists, Germany, moved up a spot
to second; and runners-up Italy, jumped from 12th to 6th.
England’s two group wins and draw with France moved them up to fourth in the rankings, making it the third time they have achieved this.
Moving in the opposite direction, Netherlands slumped from fourth to eighth after their first-round exit at Euro 2012.
Brazil dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since the rankings began in 1992 following defeats to Mexico and Argentina in friendlies in the last
Under the complex system used to calculate the rankings, 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil have also suffered by having not played any competitive
internationals since last year’s Copa America when they went out in the quarter-finals.
Uruguay remained the highest-ranked South American side at 3rd followed by Argentina in 7th place. Africa’s highest team is Ivory Coast in 16th.
Tahiti’s shock win at the Oceania Nations Cup lifted them 41 places to 138th, though they are still short of their record 111th ranking they achieved in