Malta lost three places in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking as published on Thursday to end 2017 in the 184th place.
Over the last calendar year, Malta played eight matches – winning a friendly match against Ukraine which however was not valid for the ranking, a draw with Lithuania in a World Cup qualifier and six defeats in five qualifiers and a friendly match against Estonia. A game which marked the debut of new Malta coach Tom Saintfiet after he took over the team from Pietro Ghedin.
Malta is once again third from bottom in Europe, lying ahead of San Marino (204) and Gibraltar (206). Lying just ahead of Malta are Moldova (167, down 1), Kosovo (177, down 3) and Liechtenstein (181, up 6).
Malta’s next commitment is a friendly match against Luxembourg on March 22.
Meanwhile Germany are the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking’s latest ‘Team of the Year’, having ended 2017 atop the global ladder.
The world champions, who qualified to defend their crown in Russia by winning all ten of their qualifiers and have been unbeaten in 15 matches in 2017, succeed Argentina and Belgium, who were ‘Team of the Year’ in 2016 and 2015 respectively. Germany held on to top spot in a largely unchanged Ranking that reflects the fact that just 41 ‘A’ internationals have been played since the previous edition, and that few of those involved teams at the top end of the table.
The result of that is a top 50 that shows only five changes, all minor and all outside the top 30, with Serbia (36th, up 1), Bosnia-Herzegovina (37th, up 1), Australia (38th, up 1) and Ghana (50th, up 1) all making identically narrow gains and Congo DR (39th, down 3) slipping slightly.
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