The failure of the Super Eagles of Nigeria to qualify for the 2015 African Cup of Nations, AFCON billed for Equatorial Guinea took its toll on the team as they dropped one place on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking for the month of December released Thursday morning.
The Eagles dropped to 43rd from their 42nd position, they also dropped one place on the African ranking from 8th to 9th position.
Meanwhile, the top 20 remains unchanged, FIFA World Cup holders Germany retained a comfortable lead over Argentina and Colombia, followed by Belgium, the Netherlands and Brazil.
It is only the second time since 1993 that the Germans have finished a year on top, securing them the title of Team of the Year for 2014. They also won the title of Best Mover of the Year, thanks to their gain of 407 points – more than any other team. Other teams that can look back with satisfaction on a successful year are Slovakia (21st, up 334 points) and Belgium (4th, up 319 points).
There were changes in the composition of the top 50 over the course of the year. Of the confederations, this year’s winners are Europe (with 30 teams in the top 50, up 4) and Africa (11 teams, up 2), while CONMEBOL (6 teams), CONCACAF (3) and the AFC (0) all have two teams fewer in the top 50 than last year.
The AFC has dropped out of the top 50 altogether, and the OFC are also unrepresented. The best-ranked teams by confederation are Germany (1st), Argentina (2nd), Costa Rica (16th), Algeria (18th), Iran (51st) and New Zealand (134th).
There have been only 17 international ‘A’ matches to take into account since the November ranking, bringing the total number taken into account in 2014 to 834. More than half of those games were friendlies (468), plus 302 qualifiers for continental final competitions and 64 World Cup contests. The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 8 January 2015.