Following a heavy 0-5 defeat to Kosovo and a 1-1 draw with the Faroe Islands in the final two matches from the UEFA Nations League D3 qualifiers, Malta climbed one place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking and is now ranked 182nd.
Malta is still third from bottom in Europe, lying just ahead of Gibraltar (194, down 4) and San Marino (211, down 2). Just ahead of Malta are Moldova (170, up 1) and Liechtenstein (181, up 1).
Photo (above): Copyright © Andrew Grima
Malta will not be in action until March when the national team plays the first matches from the European Qualifiers leading to EURO 2020. The draws will be held on Sunday in Dublin.
Meanwhile Belgium remain top of the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, although the gap between the Red Devils, France (2nd, unchanged) and Brazil (3rd, unchanged) has narrowed over the past month.
Photo (below): Copyright © domenic aquilina
Defeats for the leading duo in the UEFA Nations League resulted in both dropping six Ranking points, while Brazil – even though they are still 50 points behind France – added seven after wins over Uruguay (7th, down 1) and Cameroon (55th, down 4).
Portugal (6th, up 1) were the team to profit from Uruguay’s slide down the table, while the Nations League successes of group winners Sweden and the Netherlands (joint-14th, up 3 and 1 respectively) are reflected in their improved positions. Back-to-back wins in the same competition also propelled Serbia (29th, up 6) and Czech Republic (42nd, up 6) to significant gains