Malta ends 2015 in the 162nd place

Malta ended 2015 in the 162nd place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking after slipping down four places since last month after a 0-2 defeat to Jordan in a friendly match in Istanbul.

Among the other European countries, Malta is still fourth from bottom. Just ahead of Malta are FYR Macedonia (136, up 3), Luxembourg (142, up 4) and Moldova (155, down 1). Liechtenstein (164, down 1), San Marino (198, down 2) and Andorra (201, up 4) lie in the bottom three places.

In 2016, Malta is expected to play one or two friendly matches in March, another one or two friendly matches in May and another one in August before the first match from the European Qualifiers leading to the 2018 FIFA World Cup against Scotland on September 4.

Meanwhile a first-place finish on the last ranking of the year sees Belgium claim the Team of the Year award for 2015. The Red Devils jumped into first position (their first-ever) on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking in the November ranking, but a 3-1 victory over four-time world champion Italy in Brussels on 13 November saw them hold on to the coveted position for the final ranking of 2015. The past year has proved to be highly competitive with ranking runners-up Argentina and third-placed Spain outpacing 2014 Team of the Year Germany on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking for 2015.

Meanwhile, Turkey receive the award for Best Mover of the Year thanks to the 329 points they collected over the last 12 months of football. Having last competed at a major tournament back in 2008, Turkey secured a place at the UEFA EURO 2016 in a campaign that saw them defeat Netherlands, Czech Republic and Iceland during the crucial final stages. Further big movers for 2015 include Hungary (20 places, 313 points) and Nicaragua (92 places, 295 points).

Hungary made history in November by defeating Norway in a two-legged playoff to secure a place at EURO 2016 – the tournament will be their first major final since the 1986 FIFA World Cup™. Their November results have pushed them into their best-ever position on the World Ranking. n contrast, Portugal dropped three places into 7th having lost 145 points – the most points lost by a team in November.