Despite a 3-0 defeat to Croatia in Zagreb in the last EURO 2012 qualifier, Malta managed to climb five places in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking and is now 164th.
Among the other European countries, Malta is ranked 51st. Just ahead of Malta are Luxembourg (134, down 1), Faroe Islands (136, down 5), Kazakhstan (138, down 1) and Liechtenstein (148, up 10). Andorra and San Marino are 202nd and 203rd respectively.
The next game for Malta is against Switzerland on February 9 before two EURO 2012 qualifiers against Greece – at home in March and away from home in June.
Meanwhile the upper reaches of the latest edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking reflect the teams’ performances at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, with world champions Spain and runners-up the Netherlands continuing to lead the way, followed by semi-finalists Germany, who have bumped Brazil out of third place. For the third year in a row, Spain are the Team of the Year, while the Netherlands have claimed the title of Best Mover of the Year for the team that earned the most points in 2010.
Other teams have also caused a stir outside the top ten. Montenegro, who just a year ago were ranked 74th, gained 368 points to finish the year in 25th position. Botswana were also successful, starting the year in 118th position and ending it in 53rd.