Despite winning Argentina in a high profile international friendly match, holding out Desert Foxes of Algeria in their last World Cup qualifier and being the first nation to qualify for the Russia 2018 mundial, Super Eagles of Nigeria had slipped nine places in the latest FIFA ranking from 41st position in the world to 50th.
The latest ranking, which was published on FIFA’s official website, places the Super Eagles in the eighth position in Africa behind Senegal who recorded their highest-ever position on the monthly ranking moving up nine steps to 23rd.
Senegal is ranked African’s best followed by Tunisia. The Teranga Lions are now the top-ranked African nation, having leapfrogged Tunisia in 27th position (second in Africa) and Egypt who dropped one place to 31st. Other top 10 African countries according to the ranking are: Egypt, Congo DR, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and 2015 AFCON champions, Ivory Coast.
The Eagles’ drop comes after they drew 1-1 with Algeria in their final group game of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and defeated Argentina 4-2 in an international friendly in Krasnodar, Russia. The Super Eagles dropped 50 points as they are now on 671 points from their previous 721 points.
Next year’s AFCON qualifying foes, Seychelles, who will host the Eagles on matchday two in Group E of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next year, dropped one place from their 188th position last month to 189th.
Super Eagles co-ordinator, Patrick Pascal, has said that he was not bothered by the latest FIFA ranking describing it as “meaningless”
“I don’t read any meaning to the new rankings. For me, we should continue to do well on the pitch and the reward will surely come at the right time.
“I expect us to do better next month and in the subsequent ones. We have a young team that is full of quality players and I don’t see any reason why we will not be ranked among the best in the next few months,” the former Shooting Stars handler was quoted.
Meanwhile, in the top 10 ranked teams, Germany are number one, Brazil are number two, Portugal are in third position, Argentina remain in fourth and Belgium fifth.
Spain moved up to sixth position, Poland are now seventh. Switzerland moved into the top ten bracket and are now eight while France and Chile complete the top ten in ninth and 10th respectively.
However, the Federation of International Football Association, FIFA, will not recognise the latest ranking as it had earlier declared its decision to use October ranking in conducting the Russia 2018 Draw on Friday, December 1.
Nigeria will be paired in Pot 4 during the draw next week.