Following a 3-0 win over Cyprus, a narrow loss to Slovenia and a 2-0 defeat to Russia, Malta climbed six places and is now 171st in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking as published on Thursday.
Malta is now fifth from bottom in Europe, lying ahead of Moldova (180, down 5), Liechtenstein (188, up 1), Gibraltar (197, down 3) and San Marino (210, down 1). Just ahead of Malta is Andorra (156th).
Next month, Malta hosts Slovenia at Ta’ Qali on October 8 before a clash with Cyprus away from home on the 11th.
Meanwhile with no fewer than 152 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying games as well as 25 friendlies played across the globe in the first half of September, the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola Men’s World Ranking released on 16 September is unsurprisingly much changed.
While Belgium (1st) and Brazil (2nd) continue to lead the way, there is a new face on the podium. Following mixed results in Qatar 2022 qualifying this month (two draws and a win), France (4, – 1) drop out of the Top 3, allowing England (3, +1) to take their place courtesy of two wins and a draw some nine years after last being there.
With three victories in as many games, Denmark (10, + 1) break into the Top 10, where Portugal (7, + 1) and Spain (8, – 1) swap positions.
The most notable climbs among the top 50 came from IR Iran (22, + 4), Russia (37, + 4), Norway (39, + 4), Scotland (45, + 4) and Northern Ireland (47, + 4).
However, it is below 50th place that we see the best progressions in this edition, namely those of Libya (110, + 12), Canada (51, + 8), Liberia (144, + 6), Malta (171, + 6), Panama (68, + 6), Bulgaria (70, + 5) and Saudi Arabia (56, + 5).
Special mention has to go to Kosovo (109, + 6) who, having beaten Georgia (1-0) and held Greece (1-1), climb to 109th place and an all-time high.