Super Eagles third place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt has lifted Nigeria in the monthly FIFA ranking released yesterday morning. Nigeria moved from the previous 44th ranking of June to now stand at 33rd position globally.
All the four countries that reached the semifinals of the recently concluded AFCON are among Africa’s top five teams, with Senegal the top ranked team followed by Tunisia, Nigeria, Algeria and Morocco respectively.
Super Eagles next three rivals in the 2021 AFCON qualifiers: Benin Republic, Sierra Leone and Lesotho are ranked 82nd, 114th and 144th positions respectively.
Despite ending Egypt 2019 with the bronze medals, the Super Eagles are even seven steps ahead of the eventual tournament winners, Algeria who are in the 40th position.
The Algerians also benefited from their feat at the tournament as the team jumped 28 steps from their previous 68th position to be the biggest mover by rank and points. The Algerians have 117 points to their credit.
Mainly the continental finals in Africa, South America, and North, Central America and the Caribbean shaped the July 2019 ranking.
The new South American champions Brazil moved up from third to second position leapfrogging over France and trail leaders Belgium by a narrow margin of 20 points.
Other sides in the Copa América have improved their ranking positions substantially, namely quarter-finalists Uruguay (5th, up 3), Colombia (8th, up 5), and Venezuela (26th, up 7), who reached their best-ever ranking position after their run to the last eight. Argentina (10th, up 1), who came third, complete a quartet of South American teams in the top ten.
While the South American sides dominate the upper echelons of the ranking, there have been significant gains by sides taking part in both the Africa Cup of Nations and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
CONCACAF champions Mexico (12th, up 6) and fellow finalists USA (22nd, up 8) have made big strides up the table with honourable mention for surprise semi-finalists Haiti (83rd, up 18).