Following a draw with Armenia and a narrow defeat to Georgia in two friendly matches last week, Malta climbed one place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking which was published on Thursday. Malta is now 184th.
In Europe, Malta is third from bottom – ahead of Gibraltar (195, up 1) and San Marino (203, up 2). Lying just ahead of Malta are Moldova (175, down 2) and Liechtenstein (180, up 1)
Malta’s three opponents in the UEFA Nations League – Faroe Islands, Azerbaijan and Kosovo are currently 90th, 105th and 141st respectively. However Azerbaijan just climbed 21 places and Kosovo 11.
Malta takes on the Faroe Islands in Torshavn on September 7 before hosting Azerbaijan on September 10.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar/MFA
Meanwhile the recent flurry of pre-2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ friendly matches has left its mark on the latest the FIFA World Ranking. While positions are maintained at the very top of the table, where Germany (1st, unchanged) and Brazil (2nd, unchanged) still lead the way, the Russia-bound duo of Poland (8th, up 2) and Uruguay (14th, up 3) have succeeded in making strides within the top 20.
Wales (18th, up 3) have also climbed into that elite group, while further down the Ranking El Salvador (72, up 13), New Zealand (120, up 13) and Papua New Guinea (166, up 14) all registered significant gains along with Azerbaijan and Kosovo.
There is cause to celebrate, too, for Syria (73, up 3), Lebanon (79, up 3) and Gibraltar (195, up 1), with all three – along with the aforementioned Kosovans – having ascended to their best-ever positions on the global ladder.
The Ranking makes less pleasant reading for Spain (10th, down 2), who swapped places with the Poles, Tunisia (21, down 7) and the Turks and Caicos Islands (206th, down 4), who slumped to the bottom of the table after joining Anguilla, Bahamas, Eritrea, Somalia and Tonga on zero points.