By Bushrah Yusuf-Badmus
Ilorin – Nigeria’s Super Eagles have moved up by four spots in the November ranking to place 31st on the ranking table.
In the ranking table on the website of the world football governing body, FIFA, Nigeria garnered 1493 points as against 1481 points gotten in October.
The movement still helped the Super Eagles retain the third position on the continent behind Senegal and Tunisia who are placed 20th and 27th with 1555 and 1506 points respectively.
The upward movement was as a result of their 2-1 win over Benin Republic and 4-2 win over Lesotho in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches.
On the international scene, the top five remains unchanged and there is only one change in the top ten, with Croatia (6th, up 1) climbing for the second successive edition at the expense of Portugal (7th, down 1).
There are, however, more significant changes further down the table, with Italy (13th, up 2), Poland (19th, up 2), Serbia (29th, up 4) and Nigeria (31st, up 4) all pushing their way upwards.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifiers in Asia have also made an impression.
Myanmar (136th, up 11), for example, are the only team to have advanced more than ten positions, having done so thanks to impressive wins over Nepal (170th, down 3), Tajikistan (121st, down 5) and Mongolia (190th, down 4).
Kuwait (147th, up 9) have also made a substantial jump on the back of their fine results in the Qatar 2022 preliminaries.
Yet perhaps the most significant success story of this edition is Venezuela (25th, up 1).
While their rise might be more modest than those of others, La Vinotinto – due largely to a recent friendly victory over Japan (28th, unchanged) – have now ascended to their highest position since the ranking was introduced in 1993.