Three straight victories in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, including home and away against Libya last week, have shot the Super Eagles up four spots on the global rankings and to third position in Africa.
Nigeria started their resurgence with a 3-0 victory away to Seychelles in their first match after the World Cup, where they crashed out after losing two first round matches, and global soccer governing body, FIFA have recognized the team’s spirited fight back.
Such it is that footballlive.ng can report that FIFA on Thursday gave Nigeria the country’s biggest elevation of recent years, as per latest rankings of national football teams worldwide.
In the ranking table published on the world football governing body’s website on Thursday, Nigeria garnered 1,431 points for October, as against 1,415 the team had in September.
During the period in review, the Eagles thrashed Libya 4-0 (home) and 3-2 (away) in the African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
As a mark of their renaissance, the Eagles rose four positions to number 44 in the world and third in the continental ranking behind Tunisia and Senegal.
Congo Democratic Republic and Morocco complete the top five teams in Africa in that order, while Nigeria’s opponents in Group E of the 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers, South Africa, Libya and Seychelles, are in the 73rd, 105th and 188th positions respectively.
The top ten African teams are: 1) Tunisia, 2) Senegal, 3) Nigeria, 4) Congo DR, 5) Morocco, 6) Cameroon, 7) Ghana, 8) Burkina Faso, 9) Egypt, and 10) Ivory Coast.
Tunisia are 22nd in the world and Senegal 25th. Congo DR ranked 46th and Morocco, 47th, are the other African countries among the top 50.
On the overall table, Belgium are now ranked world number one by a point, ahead of Russia 2018 World Cup winners, France, who beat them in the semi finals; as the Belgians have 1,733 points to France’s 1,732.
England and Uruguay were the only other movers in the top 10, Gareth Southgate’s men moving up one place to fifth and Uruguay moving the other way, to sixth, while Gibraltar were rewarded for recent wins over Armenia and Liechtenstein by moving up eight places to 190th.