The new FIFA rankings were published on Thursday, October 25th. With the new system of calculating the points, a few nations were bound to capitalise. Before, the points average from games during a certain time period were calculated while, from August this year, points will be added or indeed subtracted from the points total accrued after the last match any nation plays. More information, including the algorithms for calculated the point’s totals, is available on the official FIFA website.
What does this mean for Nigeria?
With their win over Seychelles and the back to back wins over Libya, Nigeria are now up to position 44 in the official rankings. (They were at 48 last time around).Only three years ago, the Super Eagles were ranked number 66 which was then their worse ranking since 1999.
Before the new rankings were announced, Nigeria were the seventh best ranked African nation. Now they are the in third place in Africa, with some way to go to better Tunisia and Senegal who are, respectively, in 22nd and 25th places in the rankings. The top five teams in Africa are rounded off with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Morocco.
None of Nigeria’s opponents in Group E of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers is in the top ten best nations in Africa, nor are they in the top 50 of the World FIFA rankings. South Africa is rated the highest, at 73rdplace while Libya is in position 105 and Seychelles near the back of the rankings at 188.
What’s interesting, from all the teams in Nigeria’s group in the 2018 World Cup, only the Super Eagles have managed to advance through the rankings since. Croatia, the World Cup runners-up are still in fourth place, with Iceland still in position 36. The Argentinians have gone from position 11 to position 12.
The top five teams in the world are Belgium, France, Brazil, Croatia and England. Last time Belgium was number one in world rankings was in 2015, and they have overtaken France, the World Champions, in the last month to go first.
Here is the full list of the Top 10 African teams, according to FIFA:
- Tunisia (2004 AFCON Champions)
- Nigeria (Winners of the 2013 AFCON)
- Congo DR
- Morocco (Winners back in 1976)
- Cameroon (Hosts of the 2019 AFCON and current Champions)
- Ghana (four-time winners)
- Burkina Faso
- Egypt (2017 AFCON runners-up and three-time winners in 2006, 2008 and 2010)
- Ivory Coast (2015 AFCON winners)
The next FIFA rankings will be published in late November, after the end of the AFCON 2019 Qualifiers.