Malta climbs one place in FIFA Ranking

Following a 2-2 draw with Greece and a narrow defeat to Ireland in two friendly matches last month, Malta climbed one place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking to end 2022 in the 167th place.

This means that Malta climbed eight places since December 2021. In ten matches, Malta won five, drew one and lost four. Malta defeated Azerbaijan 1-0, Kuwait 2-0 and Israel 2-1 in friendly matches at home, San Marino 2-0 away from home and 1-0 at home in two UEFA Nations League matches while in other matches, Malta suffered two narrow defeats in friendly matches against Venezuela and Ireland and suffered two 1-2 defeats to Estonia in the UEFA Nations League.

Malta remains 51st in Europe, lying ahead of Moldova (174), Liechtenstein (198), Gibraltar (200) and San Marino (211).

The next commitments for Malta are the first two matches from the European Qualifiers leading to EURO 2024 against North Macedonia in Skopje on March 23 and against Italy at Ta’ Qali on March 26.

Meanwhile although the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has just crowned a new champion in Argentina (2nd, plus 1), but that has not stopped Brazil staying out front in the last FIFA/Cola-Cola World Ranking of the year. A Seleção hold a narrow lead over La Albiceleste, who would have jumped ahead of their neighbours and rivals had they beaten France (3rd, plus 1) in last Sunday’s World Cup final in normal or extra time.

Unlucky losers, Les Bleus may have lost their world crown but they are back in the top three. Dropping out of it are Belgium (4th, minus 2), after they failed to reach the knockout phase at Qatar 2022. England (5th, – ) complete the top five.

On the back of their respective runs to the last four of the World Cup, Croatia (7th, plus 5) and Morocco (11th, plus 11) have both made spectacular jumps up the Ranking. The Atlas Lions are the year’s highest climbers in fact, having collected no fewer than 142 points over the last 12 months.