Nigeria on Thursday moved one place up in the latest FIFA World ranking released by the soccer world governing body.
The African champions coached by Stephen Keshi were last month rated the 45th best men’s national team in the world but Thursday garnered 631 points to climb one place further.
The West Africans who will be making their fifth appearance at the FIFA World Cup this summer in Brazil is however placed as the 6th best national team on the African continent despite their reputation as the current champions of the continent.
The Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire who the Eagles defeated at the semi-finals of the 2013 African Cup of Nations enroute to the final are still ranked as Africa’s best side and are 21st in the world.
Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, Cape Verde Islands (5th), Tunisia(7th), Cameroon, Guinea and Mali make up the top 10 African best national teams according to FIFA.
Nigeria’s 2014 World Cup Group F opponents are ranked higher than Keshi’s team as Argentina lost one place from 6th to 7th place while Bosnia and Iran remained on the 25th and 37th position which they occupied last month.
Nigeria’s best ranking remained after they conquered Africa in 1994 when they were ranked 5th in April of that year after lifting the 19th African Cup of Nations in Tunisia for the second time in their history. The team were however 12th after their maiden appearance at the World Cup of 1994 hosted by the USA.
The next ranking will be released on June 6, just six days to the kick-off of the World Cup.