Despite not playing any matches over the past month, Malta lost eigtheen places in in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking which was published on Thursday and is now ranked 150th. Among the other UEFA countries, Malta is now ranked 49th.
Lying just ahead of Malta are Moldova (102, down 1), Latvia (103, up 6), Lithuania (104, up 2), Luxembourg (108, up 11), Kazakhstan (127, down 3) and Cyprus (139, up 3). Behind Malta are Liechtenstein (167, down 5), Faroe Islands (184, down 5), Andorra (198, up 2) and San Marino (208, down 1).
Malta’s next game is a friendly match against Slovakia on September 4 away from home before the first EURO 2016 qualifier against Croatia on September 8.
Meanwhile four-time world champions Germany are reaping the rewards of their triumph at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ in this edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. The World Cup Final against Argentina was also a duel for the leading position in the world ranking – with Joachim Low’s team coming out on top on both counts.
Germany lead the table for the first time in around 20 years, followed by Argentina and the Netherlands. The Oranje’s third-place finish at the World Cup has propelled them 12 positions up the table and back into the top ten. All of the teams that exited the World Cup in the quarter-finals have climbed up the ranking: Colombia (fourth, up four), Belgium (fifth, up six), France (tenth, up seven) and Costa Rica (16th, up 12 – the Ticos’ highest-ever ranking).
If the winners have gained, the less successful teams are left counting the cost of failure in their ranking positions. Former champions Spain have fallen from the top spot to eighth place, while Portugal (11th, down seven), Italy (14th, down five) and England (20th, down ten) have all dropped out of the top ten following their first-round exits. World Cup hosts Brazil, meanwhile, have dropped four places to seventh position.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar