Fresh from their bronze medal winning exploits at the just-concluded Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Egypt, Nigeria have moved up 12 spots in the July edition of FIFA ranking.
The leap, coming amidst criticisms from some football pundits and fans over the country’s perceived lacklustre showing at the championship, has seen the Super Eagles frog-jumping many countries to come 33rd on the global ranking.
According to the new rankings released by the world football governing body on Thursday, Nigeria now have 1,481 points compared to 1,433 it garnered in June to stay on the 45th position.
With this upward movement, Nigeria consolidated its rating as the third best in Africa behind Senegal and Tunisia, currently placed 20th and 29th in the world, respectively.
The biggest beneficiaries on the continent are African champions, Algeria that jumped from the 40th to 28th position. Gaining 117 points from trophy-winning performance at the continental soccer, the Desert Foxes are the biggest movers on the July ranking table.
Though still keeping their prestige as the highest ranked African side, fellow AFCON finalists, Teranga Lions of Senegal moved up two (2) steps from 22nd to 20th to record their best-ever ranking position on the global table.
Interestingly, AFCON surprise quarter finalists, Madagascar (96th, up 12) and Benin (82nd, up 6) were lavishly rewarded with a raise in ranking following their impressive continental outings
On the global scene, new South American champions, Brazil (2nd, up 1) leapfrogged France (3rd, down 1) in second place and trail leaders, Belgium by a narrow margin of 20 points.
Other sides in Copa America action improved their ranking spots substantially. Quarter finalists Uruguay (5th, up 3); Colombia (8th, up 5); and Venezuela (26th, up 7), all garnered their best-ever FIFS rankings after their fine runs to the last eight of the competition.
Copa America Bronze medalists, Argentina (10th, up 1) complete a quartet of South American teams in the top 10.
Also making big strides on the FIFA ranking are Concacaf champions Mexico (12th, up 6) and fellow finalists U.S. (22nd, up 8). The FIFA new ranking also made an honourable mention for surprise semi-finalist, Haiti that moved up 18 places to the 83rd position on the FIFA log – With agency reports