The Super Eagles of Nigeria have moved up four places in the latest FIFA ranking released by the world football governing body early Thursday morning.
On the latest ranking, the Nigerian national team are now on number 44 in the world and third on the African continent with Tunisia retaining their first position in Africa and number 22 in the world.
The Eagles’ four places rise was due to the back to back victories over Libya in the recently played Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.
Senegal are second in Africa and 25 in the world, while Congo DR, Morocco, Cameroon, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire complete Africa’s top 10 on the world ranking in that order.
Meanwhile, last month, Belgium joined France in becoming the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking’s first-ever joint leaders. Now the Red Devils are in sole possession of top spot, albeit by the narrowest possible margin – 1733 ranking points to Les Bleus’ 1732.
The top two remain out in front after a month in which each of them enjoyed a win and a draw, with Belgium and France beating Switzerland (8th, unchanged) and Germany (14th, down two) respectively in the UEFA Nations League and emerging with honours even from matches against the Netherlands (15th, up 2) and Iceland (36th, unchanged) respectively.
The Dutch, meanwhile, have risen on the back of a fine 3-0 Nations League win over their struggling German rivals, and other sides have also profited from success in the same competition. England (5th, up 1), for example, have swapped places with Uruguay (6th, down 1) after winning 3-2 away to Spain (9th, unchanged), while Norway (48th, up 4) have moved into the top 50 after back-to-back victories, and Russia (41st, up 5) have also maintained their recent momentum by staying top of Group 2.
Gibraltar (190th, up 8), though, were undoubtedly October’s biggest Nations League success story, and their first-ever competitive wins, against Armenia (101st, down 1) and Lichtenstein (182nd, down 4), are reflected in a record ranking position – and this month’s biggest rise.
The Gibraltarians are one of just six teams to have ascended more than five places, and the only team in Europe to have done so. The others all hail from Africa, where Egypt (58th, up 6), Madagascar (100th, up 6), Namibia (109th, up 7), Zimbabwe (110th, up 7) and Burundi (142nd, up 6) have all made significant gains on the back of strong results in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.