Malta finishes 146th in FIFA Ranking

Malta finished 2012 in the 146th place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking after a relatively positive year during which the national team played seven matches – three World Cup qualifiers and four friendly matches. At the end of 2011, Malta stood in the 156th place.

Malta registered four wins in the friendly matches defeating Liechtenstein 2-1 at Ta’ Qali, Luxembourg 2-0, San Marino 3-2 and Liechtenstein 1-0 in three games away from home. The team suffered three losses in the World Cup qualifiers, losing narrowly to Armenia (0-1) at Ta’ Qali and the Czech Republic (3-1) away from home and 2-0 to Italy in Modena.

Photos: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar / MFA

Caretaker coach Robert Gatt led the team in the first friendly match against Liechtenstein in February with Pietro Ghedin taking over from the friendly match against Luxembourg.

Among the other European countries, Malta is ranked 48th. Lying just ahead of Malta are Moldova (128, up 4), Cyprus (132, down 5) and Kazakhstan (142, down 2) while Luxembourg (148, down 4), Faroe Islands (153, up 6), Liechtenstein (154, up 6), Andorra (204, down 1) and San Marino (207) all lie behind Malta.

The next commitment for Malta is a friendly match against the Northern Ireland on February 6 before the two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Italy in March.

Meanwhile the top ten may have remained the same, but there were a few shuffles elsewhere on 2012’s last instalment of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.

Spain will finish the year at the summit for the fifth time in succession – an achievement which earns them the ‘Team of the Year’ title – followed by Germany, Argentina and Italy (4th, up 1).

The ‘Mover of the Year’ goes to Colombia for the second time since the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking was introduced in 1993. They finished 2011 in 36th, but thanks to six wins, one draw and only one defeat thereafter – and the 455 points they consequently earned – they end 2012 in fifth. J