Posted by Adekunle Salami on
The performance of the Super Eagles at the recently held African Cup of Nations has boosted the position of Nigeria in the monthly rankings of the World soccer ruling body, FIFA.
Nigeria shot up 12 places with 48 points in the latest rankings released on Wednesday by FIFA. The country now places 12th in the world and number one in Africa with a total of 738 points garnered in the month under review.
This position is the best in recent time for the country as Nigeria is ahead of top football countries like Italy, Germany, Croatia, Uruguay, Russia, Romania and Paraguay.
The ranking marks the first time in the past one decade that Nigeria will be so highly rated by the world soccer ruling body.
The Eagles, under the tutelage of coach Austin Eguavoen, won five out of the six games played at the 25th African Cup of Nations. The team clinched bronze at the end of the competition.
Courtesy of the outing in Egypt, Nigeria have overtaken Cameroun to become number one in the continent. The Lions, in spite of their quarterfinal exit at the Nations Cup, also moved up seven places to place 16th in the world and second in Africa.
African Champions, Egypt, were the biggest movers, climbing 15 places in the rankings to place 17th in the world and third in Africa.
Tunisia and Senegal are fourth and fifth respectively in Africa but not within the top 20 in the world.
Brazil remain number one in the world with 837 points with Czech Republic and Holland in the second and third positions with 793 and 791 points respectively. Argentina are fourth with 769 points.
The quest for the fifth position in the ranking is a tight contest; France are only one point ahead of their nearest competitors, Spain, Mexico and the USA.
The PUNCH, Thursday, February 16, 2006
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