The 3-2 win over San Marino in a friendly match in Serravalle last month enabled Malta to climb four places in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking and is now ranked 139th.
Among the other European countries, Malta is now ranked 47th, ahead of Moldova (141, down 4), Kazakhstan (142, up 3), Liechtenstein (149, down 1), Faroe Islands (154, down 1), Andorra 199 (up 1) and San Marino (206). Lying just ahead of Malta are Luxembourg (106, up 4), Azerbaijan (107, up 1), Lithuania (116, down 31), Iceland (118, up 12), Northern Ireland (129, down 28) and Cyprus (135, down 12).
Malta takes on Armenia at the National Stadium on Friday and then faces Italy in Modena on Tuesday in the first two matches from the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Mhe results of 54 ‘A’ internationals, all of which were friendlies distributed over all six confederations, were taken into account for the latest edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
While the top ten has seen only one change, with Portugal (4th, up 1) swapping places with Uruguay (5th, down 1), there has been a lot more activity in the remainder of the top 20, where Switzerland (20th, up 3) have extended Europe’s predominance as the 14th UEFA team, Mexico (21st, down 3) have fallen below 20th for the first time since March 2012, and Ecuador (17th, up 3) have become one of the top 20 teams in their continued climb from the previous month by moving up a further three places.
The major movers in the top 50 include European sides Slovenia (24th, up 9), Belgium (40th, up 13), and Austria (49th, up 11), whose 2-0 win at home to Turkey has seen them back in the top 50 after one and a half years.
Belgium have brought their three-and-a-half-month stretch out of the top 50 to an end with a 4-2 victory over neighbouring Netherlands, extending the Red Devils’ unbeaten run at home to nine, while Slovenia secured their first victory over Romania in six years, winning 4-3.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar