The Super Eagles of Nigeria have moved up from the 31st to 29th position in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings released on Thursday by the world football governing body.
This is the first time in seven years that the country’s national team has made it this high on the monthly rankings.
Nigeria was last ranked among the top 30 best football countries in May 2013.
It’s over six months since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted international matches before it fully returned earlier this month.
With the new ranking, the Super Eagles now ranks third in Africa behind Senegal who is ranked 20th in the world and Tunisia who is ranked 26th in the world. Algeria and Morocco also made Africa’s top five.
While, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali, and Congo DR were ranked among Africa top 10.
Meanwhile, the 54 UEFA Nations League games that took place across Europe at the beginning of September had an immediate impact on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, which had remained unchanged since April 9.
While there has been no movement among the leading quartet in descending order: Belgium, France, Brazil, and England – Portugal (5th, up 2) have moved into the top five thanks to victories over Croatia (8th, down 2) and Sweden (18th, down 1).
Other countries moving in the right direction are Spain (7th, up 1), Italy (12th, up 1), the Netherlands (13th, up 1), and Germany (14th, up 1), with each gaining one place in the global classification. Wales (21st, up 2) climbed two rungs but remain just outside the top 20.
Russia, hosts of the last FIFA World Cup, are further back in 32nd but had the biggest gain in this edition this, ascending six places courtesy of wins over Serbia (31st, down 2) and Hungary (52nd, unchanged).
Despite not playing, Iran (30th, up 3) moved into the top 30 after Serbia and Turkey (32nd, down 3) dropped points.
Nigeria will play Cote d’Ivoire and Tunisia in friendly matches in Austria in October and the results are expected to have bearings when the next rankings are released.
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