Eagles Drop in Last FIFA Ranking before Kick off of Russia 2018

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* Russia enter own tournament as lowest-ranked team

Duro Ikhazuagbe

Following defeats in three of the five warm up matches ahead of the World Cup, Super Eagles dropped one place from 47th spot to 48th position in the June FIFA ranking released thursday in Zurich.

Eagles also slipped one spot in the African ranking from sixth place to seventh as they are now behind Tunisia, Senegal, Congo DR, Morocco, Egypt and Ghana. The trio of Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Mali completed the list of Africa’s Top 10 teams.

Football aficionados were not surprised by the one spot drop in Eagles ranking as the three-time African champions have failed to make the most of the friendly games they played during the period under review.

Apart from the win against Poland and the 1-1 score draw with DR Congo, Super Eagles lost the other warm up games to Serbia, England and Czech Republic ahead of the Mundial kicking off in a week from today.

The breakdown on the FIFA website shows that Nigeria lost 17 points from last month’s 635. Eagles are now on 618.

Interestingly, none of Nigeria’s group opponents at the World Cup in Russia rose in the ranking.

Croatia, Eagles first Group D opponents on June 16 in Kaliningrad dropped two places from 18th to 20th while Nigeria’s second game opponents, Iceland, stagnated on the 22nd spot from the May ranking.

Nigeria’s perennial nemesis, Argentina remained at the fifth spot of global ranking as there was no movement in the Top 10.

Reigning World Cup champions Germany top the list with five-time winners Brazil second, Belgium is third while Portugal is fourth. Switzerland, France, Poland, Chile and Spain completed the top 10 of the global ranking.

Interestingly, Hosts Russia will enter their own World Cup as the lowest-ranked side of all the 32 teams competing in the tournament.

Russia had been ahead of Saudi Arabia when FIFA’s previous standings were released in May, but slipped four places to 70th in the new rankings.

AFRICA’S TOP 10

Tunisia

Senegal

Congo DR

Morocco

Egypt

Ghana

Nigeria

Cameroon

Burkina Faso

Mali