Reigning African Champions, the Super Eagles on Thursday maintained their 30th position in the world FIFA football ranking, released on Thursday by the world soccer governing body.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria have moved up 22 places from its previous 52nd position, shortly after winning the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa on Feb. 10. Nigeria also remained Africa’s fourth best, a position it nicked after the victory in the continental showpiece.
Reacting to the latest ranking, ex-international Mutiu Adepoju told NAN that although Nigeria ought to be rated Africa’s best team, the outcome should not dampen the enthusiasm of the team as there were opportunities to make further progress. According to him, Nigeria must stay focused and ensure that it distinguishes itself in their upcoming engagements. ``I don’t know the rationale behind the rating but I think Nigeria should be the number one team in Africa.
But then we must stay focused. ``It shouldn’t be seen as an impediment on the progress we are making. We just need to do well in all our competitions,” he said. Joseph Dosu, former Eagles’ goalkeeper, said the ranking did not reflect the true strength of the team that stood against the best, stressing that the best was always determined on the field of play. He urged the Eagles to maintain their winning streak in every competition, calling for more warm up matches ahead of major competitions. ``For me, the FIFA ranking is just a number.
The better side is only known on the field of play and not on paper. ``All the Eagles need to do is to keep winning its matches. More friendly matches should also be organised to keep the team in shape,” Dosu said. Fatai Amao, former coach of Shooting Stars Sports Club said that winning the Africa Cup of Nations was crucial to the country’s rating.
He said the position was not bad but noted that the country had the potential of being at the top not only in Africa but in world football.