Zambia's players and team staff celebrate with the African Cup of Nations trophy
Zambia has soared in the FIFA rankings after winning the African Cup of Nations, and Germany climbed to second behind World Cup winner and European champion, Spain.
However, the Super Eagles slid 11 places down the rankings coming in at number 56th in the world and eighth in Africa.
It was clear that Nigeria’s failure to take part in CAN 2012 played havoc on their ranking as beaten Gabon-Equatorial Guinea semi-finalists, Ghana retained its second position in Africa.
Zambia rose 28 places to No. 43, becoming the continent’s fourth-ranked nation after starting the African Cup in 16th place.
Cote d’Ivoire, which lost Sunday’s final in a penalty shootout, is the highest-ranked African nation at No. 15.
Also ahead of the Super Eagles on the continent are Algeria at 3rd (36th in the world), Mali 5th (44th), Gabon 6th (45th), and Libya, which reached its highest position since FIFA created the rankings in 1993. It rose 10 spots to No. 53.
But Egypt plummeted 25 places to No. 61 in the rankings, which weigh results over a rolling four-year period. The three-time defending African champions failed to qualify for this year’s tournament.
The United States rose two spots to No. 31 in the latest rankings released Wednesday after winning friendlies against Panama and Venezuela. Mexico leads the CONCACAF nations, unchanged at No. 21.
Germany moved up one place to reach its highest ranking since May 2009. The Netherlands dropped to third, largely for losing ranking points in a 3-0 victory over Croatia in February 2008. South American champion Uruguay is fourth, followed by England. Portugal moved up to No. 6, dropping Brazil to seventh, and No. 8 Italy and ninth-ranked Croatia also traded places.
Argentina dropped out of the top 10 for the first time since 2004, falling to 11 as Denmark moved up to No. 10.