Nigeria up to 42nd in the new FIFA rankings
This week the International governing body FIFA has released the new rankings of all National football teams. Before the latest rankings, Nigeria were in 46th place in the world and the fourth best team in Africa.
Recently, the Super Eagles have finished their 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying campaign top of Group E. This means they have automatically qualified for the AFCON competition. They dispatched Seychelles with ease before beating Egypt in a friendly match.
All this has helped them to rise in the rankings, up to 42nd place, behind Australia and Iceland but in front of Greece and Scotland. The Eagles have eight points more than at the previous ranking and have moved up four places. They have made the biggest inroads in the top 50 countries.
As far as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is concerned, Senegal is still the highest ranked African nation. They’ve also moved one place in the overall rankings and are now 23rd in the World. Tunisia have stayed in the same position, 28th in the World. Nigeria has overtaken Morocco, who are now the fourth best African country. They dropped two places in the overall rankings.
The highest climbers, besides Nigeria are Congo DR who went up five places and Burkina Faso who are four places up in the World rankings.
Senegal were never African champions but did come as runners-up in 2002. Out of the top three African countries, Tunisia have won the 2004 AFCON while Nigeria are three-time champions (1980, 1994 and 2013). The Super Eagles were also runners-up four times and have finished in third place seven times, by far more than any other African nation)
African Media can’t agree over who is the favourite to win the 2019 AFCON, but Nigeria is certainly one of the contenders, alongside Egypt, Ivory Coast, South Africa or Senegal.
Belgians are still ranked as the number one team in the world, followed closely by the 2018 World Champions France. Brazil are in third, a few points behind the top two.
Here is the full list of top ten African countries together with the place they hold in the overall World rankings:
- Senegal (23rd)
- Tunisia (28th)
- Nigeria (42nd)
- Morocco (45th)
- Congo DR (46th)
- Ghana (49th)
- Cameroon (54th)
- Egypt (57th) – the hosts of this years AFCON
- Burkina Faso (58th)
- Mali (65th)