Nigeria’s Super Eagles have retained the 31st position in the year end FIFA World ranking for 2019.
This is Nigeria’s best ranking in ten years. The last time the country’s football ranked higher than that in a calender year was in December 2009 when the team was ranked 22nd by the world’s football governing body and emerged third best in Africa behind Ivory Coast (16th) and Cameroon (11th).
According to completesports.com, Gernot Rohr’s men garnered a total of 1493 points to stay as the third-best team in Africa behind Senegal and Tunisia in 2019.
On the international scene, Belgium are the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking’s Team of the Year for the second successive time.
France are second, Brazil third while England progressed from fifth to fourth and Uruguay took the fifth position.
Other remarkable rankings are Argentina (9th) and Colombia (10th) at the expense of Switzerland (12th) and Denmark (16th).
But the ranking’s Mover of the Year are Qatar who gained an impressive 138 points after winning AFC Asian Cup and making a strong start to the Asian Zone World Cup qualifiers.
The 2022 World Cup hosts are now 38th followed closely by fellow climbers Algeria (up 32 ranks) and Japan (up 22 ranks).
Nigeria’s rivals for a ticket to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Benin, Sierra Leone and Lesotho are 84th, 118th and 139th respectively in the world.
The latest ranking has also witnessed a gradual decline in Europe’s dominance in football having lost three places in the top 50 compared to the end of 2018, and now has 28 teams while other continents are climbing steadily – Concacaf (4), the AFC (4) and CAF (4).
The next Fifa/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be released on Thursday, 20 February 2020.