The Super Eagles have dropped nine places in the latest rating announced by the world football governing body while Argentina remain at the summit of the July FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, but only after a tumultuous month of action that resulted in plenty of movement further down.
Nigeria dropped nine places to rank 70th in the ranking released on Thursday. The Super Eagles were ranked 61st in June’s rating but have now dropped to be ranked 16th best team in Africa.
Algeria, one of Nigeria’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers opponents are the highest ranked African team while Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions are 53rd in the world and seventh in Africa. For Zambia, they are the 88th best team in the world.
New Zealand emerged as the month’s biggest climbers, moving up a whopping 54 places to 93rd on the back of an OFC Nations Cup victory that both qualified the All Whites for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and furthered their FIFA World Cup™ qualifying ambitions. Portugal will also be heading to Russia 2017 after their shock EURO 2016 triumph, an achievement that resulted in them leapfrogging Spain and Brazil into sixth position.
There was also some small consolation for France, Portugal’s vanquished final opponents, who were among several teams to profit from impressive EURO campaigns. While Les Bleus climbed ten places to a new position of seventh, Poland rose 11 to 16th and there were 12-place jumps for both Iceland and Croatia, who now sit 22nd and 15th respectively. Surprise semi-finalists Wales fared better still, picking up 291 ranking points – this month’s biggest tally – to advance 15 positions to 11th.
The Icelanders, meanwhile, are one of five teams to have reached their best-ever position in this latest table, along with Guinea-Bissau (75th, plus 40), St Kitts and Nevis (80th, plus 12), Kazakhstan (97th, plus 15) and Comoros (155th, plus 7). Yet despite all this activity, the ranking’s top five remains unchanged, with Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Germany and Chile – all of whom reached the latter stages of their respective tournaments – doing enough to hold off the pretenders below.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 11 August 2016.