Following back-to-back defeats to England and Scotland, Malta slipped to 191st in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking as published on Thursday.
Malta is now third from bottom in Europe, just ahead of San Marino (204) and Gibraltar (206). Lying just ahead of Malta are Lithuania (20, down 21), Kazakhstan (126, down 21), Andorra (144, down 15), Latvia (148, down 17), Moldova (156, up 3), Kosovo (184, down 4) and Liechtenstein (187, up 3).
Photo (1): Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
Photo (2): Copyright © www.stephengatt.com
Malta will be facing Lithuania at Ta’ Qali and Slovakia in Trnava in the final two World Cup Group F qualifiers next month.
Meawnhile Germany have returned to the summit of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, continuing this year’s ongoing tug-of-war with Brazil for top spot. The reigning world champions edged ahead of A Seleção following two impressive FIFA World Cup™ qualifying victories over Czech Republic and Norway, and head a table much changed after the recent Russia 2018 preliminaries.
Belgium, for example, have climbed four places to enter the top five on the back of qualifying for next year’s finals. Portugal, for their part, are up three to third and, further down, no fewer than 23 teams jumped ten places or more.
Among the most notable climbers are the Cape Verde Islands (67, up 47), Luxembourg (101, up 35), Bolivia (46, up 22) and Denmark (26, up 20), this on the back of stunning results in qualifying against South Africa, France, Chile and Poland respectively.
Luxembourg are also one of four teams to have reached an all-time high position in the latest Ranking, along with Peru (12, up 3), Northern Ireland (20, up 3) and Syria (75, up 5). The Bolivians, meanwhile, number among five new entries to the top 50, where they are joined by Montenegro (37, up 15), Bulgaria (38, up 14), Scotland (43, up 15) and Haiti (48, up 7).