FIFA Ranking: Super Eagles Retains 31st Spot, as Falcons Top Africa

Nigeria’s Super Eagles retained their spot as the world’s 31st team in the World Football Ranking for the month of December.

In the ranking table on the website of world football governing body FIFA on Thursday, Nigeria have garnered 1,493 points, same as they had in the November ranking.

The ranking still helped the team retained the third spot on the continent, behind Senegal and Tunisia.

On the global scene, Belgium are the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking’s Team of the Year for the second successive time after a record-breaking year on the global ladder.

The Red Devils have held on to top spot in a December table barely impacted by just 19 friendlies towards the end of the year.

It was a year in which 1,082 international “A” matches have been played, and that is an all-time high since

World champions France remain in second place ahead of Brazil in third, the positions they held in December 2018.

However, the make-up of the year-end top five has changed.

England have climbed one place in 2019 to end the year in fourth, with Uruguay moving up to fifth on the back of a two-spot rise.

Argentina (9th) and Colombia (10th) are also in the top 10 at the expense of Switzerland (12th) and Denmark (16th).

Both have slipped four and six places respectively over the course of the year.

The ranking’s Mover of the Year, meanwhile, are Qatar who gained an impressive 138 points over the course of the year.

The FIFA World Cup 2022 hosts won the AFC Asian Cup and made a strong start to the Asian Zone World Cup qualifiers.

Besides accumulating the biggest points haul, Qatar have also jumped a year-high 38 places, followed closely by fellow climbers Algeria (up 32 ranks) and Japan (up 22 ranks).

Given the teams who have made the most progress in 2019, it is no surprise to find that the regional composition of the top 50 has changed over the year.

Along with this is the fact that Europe’s dominance has diminished.

UEFA has lost three places in the top 50 compared to the end of 2018, and now has 28 teams.

Whereas, Concacaf (4), the AFC (4) and CAF (4) have all gained one spot apiece.

But in spite of all the changes witnessed over 2019, the year has ended on a quiet note.

It has witnessed only the most modest of movements due to the scarcity of fixtures since the ranking’s November edition.

Nonetheless, eight teams have all edged a single rung up the ladder, and will hope to continue that progress in 2020.

These are Bahrain (99th), Bolivia (75th), Korea Republic (40th), Lesotho (139th), the Solomon Islands (141st), South Africa (71st), St Kitts and Nevis (139th) and Suriname (141st).

Men’s ranking:

1 Belgium

2 France

3 Brazil

4 England

5 Uruguay

6 Croatia

7 Portugal

8 Spain

9 Argentina

10 Colombia

11 Mexico

12 Switzerland

13 Italy

14 Netherlands

15 Germany

16 Denmark

17 Sweden

17 Chile

19 Poland

20 Senegal

21 Peru

22 USA

22 Wales

24 Ukraine

25 Venezuela

26 Austria

27 Tunisia

28 Japan

29 Turkey

29 Serbia

31 Nigeria

32 Slovakia

33 Iran

34 Republic of Ireland

35 Algeria

36 Northern Ireland

37 Romania

38 Russia

39 Iceland

40 Korea Republic

40 Paraguay

42 Australia

43 Morocco

44 Norway

45 Czech Republic

46 Costa Rica

47 Ghana

48 Jamaica

49 Bosnia and Herzegovina

50 Scotland

Women’s ranking

1 – USA

2 – Germany

3 – Netherlands

4 – France

5 – Sweden

6 – England

7 – Australia

8 – Canada

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