Nigeria’s Super Eagles dropped two points to remain 46 in the first ranking of the year 2019 released by world soccer governing body, FIFA. The Eagles also remain number four in Africa, with Senegal, Tunisia and Morocco ahead of the three times Afcon Champions.
Newly crowned Asian champions Qatar climbed to 55th in the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, gaining 38 places – and reaching their best position since 1993 – on the back of their stunning success in the UAE.
The AFC Asian Cup has been responsible for almost all of the notable changes in this, the first ranking of 2019, with the scarcity of games in other confederations leaving the top 20 unchanged – and Belgium still in pole position.
Further down the table, Qatar are not the only team to have ascended in spectacular style. Fellow finalists Japan (27th, up 23) have also soared up the order, while Korea Republic (38th, up 15), the United Arab Emirates (67th, up 12) and Jordan (97th, up 12) have all registered double-digit gains. There are also significant upwards moves by the likes of Iraq (80th, up 8), IR Iran (22nd, up 7) and Uzbekistan (89th, up 6).
Another consequence of these changes is that Asia has boosted its numbers in the ranking’s top 50. The AFC is now represented by four teams, up one on the last edition, and now stands level with Africa, whose numbers have been depleted by Congo DR (51st, down 2) dropping out.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 4 April 2019.
Leader Belgium (unchanged)
Moves into top 10 None
Moves out of top 10 None
Matches played in total 73 (18 in 2018, 55 in 2019)
Most matches played Qatar (11 matches)
Biggest move by points Qatar (up 140 points)
Biggest move by ranks Qatar (up 38 ranks)
Biggest drop by points Korea DPR (down 44 points)
Biggest drop by ranks Korea DPR (down 12 ranks)
Newly ranked teams None
Teams that are no longer ranked None
Inactive teams, not ranked None