Super Eagles end 2022 as Africa’s fifth-best team

According to FIFA’s monthly rankings, the Nigeria national football team, the Super Eagles, will finish 2022 as Africa’s fifth-best team and 35th in the world.

FIFA released its final ranking for the year on Thursday, with Brazil remaining the top-ranked team in the world despite failing to advance beyond the quarter-finals in Qatar 2022.

Argentina, who were crowned world champions for the third time last Sunday, rose only to second place, up from third place prior to Qatar 2022. France is third, while Belgium and England are fourth and fifth, respectively.

Poor Year

The year 2022 has largely been a letdown for the Super Eagles, who only made it to the second round of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon before blowing their chance at a seventh World Cup appearance against Ghana in March.

The Black Stars edged the Super Eagles to the Qatar 2022 ticket on the away goals rule.

Unfortunately, the Black Stars did not advance beyond the group stage despite recording a thrilling 3-2 win over South Korea and ruffling Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal teammates, who eventually claimed a nervy 3-2 win.

Aside from the disappointment in official games, the Eagles did not fare any better in the handful of friendly games played in the year.

Just before the commencement of the World Cup, Portugal hammered the Eagles 4-0 in Lisbon. The Eagles’ greatest loss in almost three decades followed another 2-0 defeat at the hands of Costa Rica in San Jose.

The Super Eagles also lost in friendly games against Algeria, Mexico, and Ecuador

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In the year’s first ranking released in February, FIFA ranked the Super Eagles 32nd in the world and third in Africa, just behind Senegal and Morocco

The country’s best ranking in 2022 was in March when the Eagles were ranked 30th.

Though 2022 was bad for the Eagles, they still finished one notch better than 2021 when they ended the year in 36th place.

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Roaring Lions

While it was an awful year for the Eagles, the reverse was the case for the Atlas Lions of Morocco who have risen to the number 11 spot, the highest ever in their history.

Having become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals, where they were beaten by France, Morocco now stand as the highest-ranked African side at 11th in the world.

It means Morocco who lost 2-1 to Croatia in the third-place play-off, now sit above Germany in 14th, Mexico in 15th, and Uruguay in 16th.

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Africa’s other World Cup flag bearers, Senegal, Tunisia, and Cameroon, were ranked 19, 30, and 33, respectively. Ghana, the other country from Africa at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, are in the 58th position.

FIFA will publish the next ranking in February 2023.

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