Thursday, March 4, 2010

Super Eagles sink in FIFA ranking

Nigeria's Super Eagles have been ranked 21st in the March edition of the FIFA ranking, which sees Spain remaining on top of ladder ahead of Brazil and the Netherlands. The Eagles have a new manager in the person of Lars Lagerback of Sweden, who was unveiled yesterday in Abuja.

In the latest version released yesterday in Zurich, the Nigerian team, who finished third at the last Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, dropped six places, to the 21st position while reigning African champions, Egypt, who were in the 10th position in the February ranking, have now dropped to the 17th position.

The Pharaohs drop seven places on the list and it means there is no African team amongst FIFA's top 15.

Lagerback would be looking at how to shore up Nigeria's present position in the coming months by delivering wins in matches that he leads his troops to play as they prepare for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa

However Egypt remain the highest placed African country in the rankings.

Cameroon are next in 20th place, followed by Nigeria in 21st and Ivory Coast in 22nd.

The majority of changes in this month's rankings are due to the devaluation of results from last year and the fact that the final of the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations final was played in February and not January like this year's.

More movement can be expected in the next edition of the rankings as a considerable number of matches will be played on 3 March, a date reserved for friendly matches in the international match calendar.

It is an opportunity for many teams, not just those who have qualified for South Africa 2010, to make progress in the rankings.

South Africa are the only team representing Africa at the World Cup that remains outside the continent's top ten. They are placed 16th in Africa and 81st overall.Spain continue to occupy the top spot in the world rankings ahead of Brazil and the Netherlands.


Related stories: Interview with Super Eagles new coach Lars Lagerback 

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Video - World Cup comes to Nigeria

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