A shaky goalless draw at home with Zimbabwe in the Super Eagles’ last international friendly has counted much against Nigeria, as the Super Eagles have dropped three slots to 45th in the latest global rankings by world soccer governing body, FIFA.
Megasportsarena.com reports that, though Nigeria remain third in Africa, they are still behind Senegal (up to 22nd in the world) and Tunisia (up three to 25th), but the Eagles are followed by Morocco, Norway and Ghana in that order.
While Belgium (1st, unchanged) continue at the top, increasing their advantage over France (2nd, unchanged) following UEFA EURO qualifying wins over Kazakhstan and Scotland, there was plenty of movement elsewhere in the top 20.
Portugal (5th, up 2), for example, moved into the top five on the back of their UEFA Nations League triumph, while the Netherlands (14th, up 2) edged upwards after reaching the final of the same competition.
A trio of former world champions are also on the rise. Spain (7th, up 2), Germany (11th, up 2) and Italy (14th, up 3) all ascended the global ladder on the back of positive results in the EURO qualifiers.
There were plenty of success stories elsewhere, too, with the likes of Austria (26th, up 8), Northern Ireland (28th, up 5), Czech Republic (41st, up 7), Hungary (42nd, up 9), Armenia (97th, up 9) and Malaysia (159, up 9) racing up the Ranking.
There was also reason to celebrate for Senegal (22nd, up 1) and Kosovo (121st, up 6), both of whom reached their highest position to date.
The ratings show that, despite holding firm to the third spot in Africa, Nigeria failed to improve on their impressive jump in April, when the Eagles moved up four rungs in the rankings.
However, while Nigeria slump on the global level and remain third in Africa, their next opponents in an international friendly, billed for this Sunday in Ismailia, Egypt, Senegal are still the best team in Africa and are ranked 22nd in the world, with Tunisia second and 25th globally.