Nigeria dropped by four places in the new FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking released for the month of June.
The total number of international ‘A’ matches taken into account by the world football governing body included the 16 FIFA Confederations Cup games, 89 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and 29 friendlies all played in the month of June.
Playing in the Confederations Cup paid off for the likes of semi-finalists, Uruguay (12, up 7 places), and Italy (6th, up 2 places),but cost Nigeria the drop, from 31 to 35 as Japan (37th, down 5 places) and Tahiti (154th, down 16 places) were also reduced after losing out of the group stages of the World Cup dress-rehearsal.
Nigeria now ranks 5th in Africa behind Cote d’Ivoire (13th, unmoved), (Ghana 24th, down 3 places), Mali (28, down 5 places) and Algeria (34th, up 1 place). Cape Verde Island (49th, up 23 places), Guinea (61st, up 24 places) and Senegal (74th, up 25 places) were among the seven teams that rose beyond 20 places, due to their performances in the World Cup qualifiers and friendlies.
Out of the two World Cup qualifying matches the Super Eagles played in the month of June, they won 1-0 away to Kenya and drew 1-1 in Windhoek against Namibia before traveling to Brazil where they won debutantes Tahiti 6-1, lost to both South American Uruguay 2-1 and Europeans Spain 3-0 to crash out of the Confederations Cup at the group stage.
Confederations Cup winners and hosts Brazil moved into the top ten by a 13-place leap to ninth. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side won all five of their matches at the tournament, and defeated France in a preparatory friendly to collect an unrivalled 223 points over the last month.
Spain nevertheless remained first ahead of Germany, while Colombia continued their impressive run in the world rankings, climbing four places to a personal best of third.