Malta slipped another place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking to end 2016 in the 183rd place to set another negative record – the worst ever placing since the rankings were estabished in 1992.
The national team is ranked 51st among the other European countries. Just ahead of Malta are FYR Macedonia (162), Moldova (164, down 2) and Kosovo (165). Lying behind Malta are Liechtenstein (189), San Marino (202), Andorra (203) and Gibraltar (205).
Malta will be in action next March in a World Cup qualifier against Slovakia, although a friendly match could also be scheduled in March.
Meanwhile Argentina will end the year on top of the world, leading the way in the final FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking of 2016 from neighbours Brazil in second. La Albiceleste therefore take the ‘Team of the Year’ title from Belgium, who they overtook at the summit in April this year, and where they have stayed for the subsequent eight editions of the Ranking. In all, the Argentinians won ten of their 15 games in 2016, losing three and drawing twice.
Edgardo Bauza’s side are the ninth-best mover of 2016, but the title ‘Mover of the Year’ – the side that gained the most Ranking points since December 2015 – goes to UEFA EURO 2016 finalists France. Les Bleus won 13 of their 17 games in 2016, drawing three, with their sole defeat their most significant for some years, in the continental finale after extra time against Portugal. Indeed, the South Americans also shared the pain of defeat in their own continental showpiece event, losing to Chile on penalties in June. Despite this shared negative experience, both now share a place in Ranking history, with their respective awards for 2016.
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