Following a narrow 2-1 win over Central African Republic earlier this month, Malta managed to climb six places in the FIFA World Ranking and is now 167th.
Malta is still 51st amongst the 53 European states with Andorra and San Marino lying at the bottom. Both are ranked 203rd. Just ahead of Malta but with a comfortable lead are the Faroe Islands (111, up 1), Azerbaijan (112, down 1), Wales (117, down 5), Liechtenstein (119, down 1), Iceland (124, down 3), Kazakhstan (126) and Luxembourg (128).
Next month, Malta hosts Croatia on Friday 2nd and Georgia on Tuesday 6th.
Meanwhile there has been a change in the leadership of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, with the Netherlands ending Spain’s reign of more than a year at the summit to claim top spot for the first time ever.
The Oranje thus profited from Spain’s defeat by Italy – in a friendly that cost the world and European champions valuable points – to become only the seventh team (after Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) to sit atop the global ladder.
There has also been a dramatic change in South America, with fifth-placed Uruguay becoming the top-ranked South American team following Brazil’s (6th, down 2) loss to Germany (3rd, unchanged). England also reaped the rewards of the Seleção’s defeat to move up two places to fourth.