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Egypt climbs 9 places in FIFA rankings, easing mission in World Cup qualifiers

Egypt's win over Nigeria in the first big game of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers raised the Pharaohs nine positions in FIFA's global rankings

Mahmoud Elassal , Thursday 7 Apr 2016
Egypt's Marwan Mohsen (R) watches on as Nigeria's Victor Moses (C) heads the ball during their African Cup of Nations group G qualification football match between Egypt and Nigeria at the Borg el-Arab Stadium in Alexandria on March 29, 2016 (AFP)

Egypt climbed nine positions to 44 in the FIFA global football rankings that were published 7 April, after placing 53rd last month.

The Pharaohs played their first big game in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) qualifiers against Nigeria, beating the Super Eagles 1-0 before an enthusiastic crowd at Alexandria's Borg El-Arab Stadium, all but assuring their qualification for the tournament finals in Gabon.

Egypt moved within reach of a place at next year's CAN for the first time since 2010 when a Ramadan Sobhi goal in the second half gave them a valuable 1-0 win over main challengers Nigeria on Tuesday.

The seven-time African champions are at the top of Group G of the qualifiers with seven points, five ahead of the second placed Nigeria.

Egypt has failed to reach Africa's showpiece tournament for the last three editions in a row, the first time it has missed at least two consecutive tournaments since failing to qualify for the 1965 and 1968 CAN.

The Pharoahs made it into the world's top 10 when they won three successive CAN trophies, in 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Egypt is now in the first class of the continental ranking after placing fifth in the African ranking, helping the Pharaohs for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Algeria jumped four positions to 33 to lead African nations, while CAN winner Ivory Coast are still second, ahead of Ghana and Senegal.

Guinea-Bissau was the best mover in this month rankings, jumping 45 places.

Meanwhile, Argentina jumped one position to lead the world ranking after former leaders Belgium lost one position.

FIFA world ranking (February position in parentheses):

1. Argentina (2)

2. Belgium (1)

3. Chile (5)

4. Colombia (8)

5. Germany (4)

6. Spain (3)

7. Brazil (6)

8. Portugal (7)

9. Uruguay (11)

10. England (9)

Top 10 African teams:

33. Algeria (37)

34. Ivory Coast (36)

38. Ghana (41)

43. Senegal (48)

44. Egypt (53)

47. Cape Verde (31)

47. Tunisia (47)

51. DR Congo (58)

58. Guinea (63)

59. Congo (59)

Top five Arab teams:

37. Algeria (36)

44. Egypt (53)

47. Tunisia (47)

60. Saudi Arabia (60)

68. UAE (64)

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