Malta climbed one place to 161st in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking which was published on Thursday.
The team led by Pietro Ghedin is still fourth from bottom in Europe. Lying just ahead of Malta are Azerbaijan (116), Georgia (120), Armenia (123, down 2), Lithuania (128, down 1), Kazakhstan (131, up 1), FYR Macedonia (138), Luxembourg (142) and Moldova (155). Behind Malta are Liechtenstein (165), San Marino (198) and Andorra (201).
Malta will be playing four friendly matches in view of the European Qualifiers leading to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Malta hosts Moldova against Moldova on March 24 and then plays two friendly matches in Austria against the Czech Republic on May 26 and Austria on May 31 before another friendly match away from home against Estonia on August 31.
Meanwhile with the current 20 best-ranked teams yet to play an A-game in 2016, the top 18 positions remain unchanged for the February edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
Belgium, Argentina and Spain hold their increasingly familiar top three slots while Hungary (19, plus 1) and Turkey (20, plus 1) enter the top 20 thanks to Côte d’Ivoire’s exit (28, minus 9). Hungary’s small increase comes with a massive celebration; Hungary have reached their best ever position since the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking was introduced in 1993.
This month, Scotland (46, plus 6) and Norway (50, plus 4) return to the top 50, strengthening UEFA’s presence in the regional composition of the top 50. UEFA now enjoys representation from 31 of the top 50 teams.