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FIFA ranking: Nigeria finish 36th place, Belgium maintain top spot

AFCON 2023: Will Super Eagles soar over Lone Stars?

Nigeria’s senior male football team, the Super Eagles ended the 2021 FIFA rankings on 36th place, according to the latest FIFA ranking for December 2021.

This may be due to Super Eagles’ poor run of form in 2021 where they played 11 games, won 6, lost 3, and drew 2 one of which is the scandalous 1-0 loss to the Central African Republic in October and 4-0 defeat to Mexico in a friendly played in July

According to FIFA, the number of matches played in 2020 reduced due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, with only 352 international matches played in 2020 and 1116 matches played in 2021.

“Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, only 352 full internationals were played in 2020. Not since 1987 (323 matches) had so few games been played in a calendar year. By contrast, planet football made up for the lost time in 2021 with a record-breaking 1116 matches played, “FIFA statement reads.

Belgium sit top of FIFA’s rankings for a fourth successive year at the end of a record-breaking 12 months for international football.

Read also: Man City mauls Leicester City 6-3, consolidates EPL top spot

Brazil came second, while UEFA Nations League winners France finished the year third. European champions Italy moved to sixth place having claimed 115.77 points more than in 2020, while Copa America winners Argentina are one place better off, improving on their 2020 points total by 108.51 points.

Canada recorded the biggest improvement in the 2021 FIFA ranking and moved to 40th position.

“For their part, Canada (40th) are the year’s ‘Most Improved Side’ having picked up no fewer than 130.32 points over the last 12 months. Their journey to the semi-finals of the 2021 Gold Cup as well as impressive results in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifying have been major factors in their rise.” FIFA said.

Senegal remains the best football team in Africa for 2021.