The upward move also impacted positively in Africa as the Super Eagles moved to 10th in the continent. Nigeria was previously rated 16th in Africa.
The Eagles have experienced a gradual renaissance under coach Stephen Keshi, who steered the team to January’s Africa Cup of Nations. The Nigerian side defeated Liberia 8-3 aggregate in their final qualification game to book a ticket to South Africa.
However, Cote d’Ivoire (15) are still the highest ranked African country while Japan (24) are Asia’s best team. The Ivoirians are also first in Africa while Algeria moved up five places to occupy Africa’s second spot and 19th in the world.
Mali are third on the Africa rankings after the West African nation dropped one place and are now ranked 28th in the world.
World and European champions, Spain, remain top of the rankings despite their 1-1 draw with France while Germany retained their second position.
But Argentina leapfrogged Portugal (4) to climb to third in the standings after they recorded victories over Uruguay (who fell out of the top 10) and Chile in the past month to move up one place.
Italy complete the top five as they rose three positions following wins against Armenia and Denmark. Brazil, hosts of the 2014 World Cup, are 13th in the standings.