By Amaechi Agbo
Nigeria has recorded their just best annual finish I global football as the country was ranked the 31st best nation in the last month of FIFA ranking released Thursday.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have ended the year with their highest world ranking in the last decade, FIFA rankings reveal.
According to data released by the football governing body, the Eagles ended the year in the 31st position. The major highlight of the year for the Gernot Rohr led team was winning bronze at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The last time Nigeria finished a year higher was in 2009, when the team was 22nd in the world.
However, with a total of 1493 points, the Super Eagles remained third in Africa, behind Senegal and Tunisia who are ranked 20 and 27, respectively.
This year, the team finished third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt, losing to eventual winners Algeria in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Belgium finished as the number one football team in the world for the second successive year.
Belgium hold on to top spot in a December table barely impacted by just 19 friendlies, but with 1082 international A matches – an all-time high since the Ranking’s 1993 inception – having already been played.
World champions France and Brazil also remain in second and third, the positions they held in December 2018, but the make-up of the top five has changed, with England climbing one place to reach fourth and Uruguay moving up to fifth on the back of a two-spot rise.
Argentina (9th) and Colombia (10th) have also entered the top ten at the expense of Switzerland (12th) and Denmark (16th), who slipped four and six places respectively over the course of the year.
But the FIFA ranking’s ‘Mover of the Year’ is the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.
The World Cup hosts gained an impressive 138 points over the course of a year in which they won the AFC Asian Cup and made a strong start to the Asian Zone World Cup qualifiers.
Besides accumulating the biggest points haul, Qatar also climbed a year-high 38 places, followed closely by fellow climbers Algeria (up 32 ranks) and Japan (up 22 ranks).