Africa: FIFA Ranking – Super Eagles Rise 14 Places, Now Third in Africa

A run to the AFCON final saw the Super Eagles rise 14 places in the ranking table to end as the third-best country in Africa.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria have climbed to 24th in the latest FIFA rankings, released on Thursday. The rise sees them displace Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria, and climb into the top three places in Africa.

The AFCON finalists were the sixth-best team in Africa at the beginning of the Nations Cup on 11 January but an unbeaten run to the final has seen them soar up to third place. Also, AFCON champions, Cote d’Ivoire, rose 10 places to break into the top five football-playing countries in Africa.

Angola, beaten by Nigeria in the quarterfinals, are the biggest movers, as they rose 24 places.

The FIFA release stated, “Amongst the African sides, Cote d’Ivoire (39th, up 10) reap the rewards of their continental triumph on home soil, secured following an eventful tournament campaign. Beaten finalists Nigeria (28th, up 14) make significant strides but are no match for the Angola side they ousted in the last eight (93rd, up 24), who are the biggest climbers in the latest installment of the global ranking.”

Argentina retains its No. 1 spot, followed by France and England. Filling out the top 10 places are Belgium, Brazil, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Croatia.

The 2022 World Cup hosts, Qatar, also rose on account of retaining their Asian Cup. “Qatar’s rise sees them enter uncharted territory, with two other teams also recording best-ever rankings.

“Senegal (17th, up 3), who suffered shoot-out heartbreak at the hands of the eventual winners Cote d’Ivoire in the Africa Cup of Nations round of 16, break new ground, while Tajikistan (99th, up 7) mark their maiden Asian Cup campaign by making a first-ever appearance in the top 100.”

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