The difficult start of the Super Eagles of Nigeria to their African Cup of Nations, AFCON 2015 qualification campaign has forced them to drop five places in the October edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking released Thursday morning.
The Eagles, who are third in their group dropped from their 37th position in the September edition to 42nd with a total 632 points. They are ninth on the African continent. They must win their last two matches if they want to qualify and defend the trophy they won in South Africa last year.
Meanwhile, the first three positions are unchanged. Germany have held on to the top spot. Portugal placed 9th and are making their first appearance in the top ten since July and Belgium 4th, they leapfrogged the Netherlands 5th to achieve their highest ranking. Former table-toppers Spain are 10th they slipped following their defeat against Slovaka.
Other continental qualification matches in Africa and CONCACAF have led to big reshuffles further down the ranking. No fewer than nine teams climbed more than 20 ranks, while another 19 moved up by between ten and 19 places. Three other teams have achieved their highest-ever ranking along with Belgium this month: Algeria 15th, Iceland, 28th and Antigua and Barbuda 7th.
141 matches have been taken into account for the October edition of the ranking, exactly the same number as last month. Of those matches, 49 were European qualifiers, 28 were African qualifiers and ten were CONCACAF qualifiers and there were 54 friendly matches. In total, 667 matches have been taken into account over the course of the year so far.