Malta climbed twenty-three places following last monthâ€™s 1-0 over Armenia in Yerevan. Malta is now ranked 133rd in the July edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
Among the other European countries, Malta is ranked 47th. Lying just ahead of Malta are Northern Ireland (111, up 5), Azerbaijan (117, up 1), Latvia 119, Cyprus (125, down 3) and Moldova (125, up 9). Lying behind Malta are Luxembourg (141, up 4), Liechtenstein (148, up 10), Kazakhstan (150, down 4), FAroe Islands (174, down 12), Andorra (205) and San Marino (207).
Maltaâ€™s next game is a friendly match against Azerbaijan on August 14 before two home World Cup qualifiers against Denmark and Bulgaria in Septmber.
Brazilâ€™s stunning victory over Spain in the FIFA Confederations Cup Final has helped reap them another reward: a 13-place leap to ninth. Luiz Felipe Scolariâ€™s side won all five of their matches at that competition, and defeated France in a preparatory friendly, to collect an unrivalled 223 points over the past month. Spain nevertheless held on to pole position ahead of Germany, while Colombia climbed four places to a personal best of third thanks to some impressive performances in FIFA World Cupâ„¢ qualifying. Meanwhile Belgium (10th, up 2) celebrated entering the top ten for the first time in history.
Participating in the FIFA Confederations Cup paid off for two other semi-finalists, as Uruguay (12th, up 7) and Italy (6th, up 2) gained ground, although the other competing teams â€“ Mexico (20th, down 3), Nigeria (35th, down 4), Japan (37th, down 5) and Tahiti (154th, down 16) â€“ have all fallen back.
The ongoing Brazil 2014 qualifiers and a number of friendlies have seen no fewer than seven teams rise more than 20 places, namely Cape Verde Islands (49th, up 23), Scotland (50th, up 24), Austria (54th, up 22), Guinea (61st, up 24), Armenia (66th, up 23), Senegal (74th, up 25) and Malta (133rd, up 23).
The shake-up on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking also means that Bosnia-Herzegovina (14th, up 1), Peru (19th, up 11), Albania (37th, up 1), Cape Verde Islands, Dominican Republic (90th, up 4), Tajikistan (106th, up 6) and Guam (176th, up 2) are all now higher than ever before.
In addition to the 16 FIFA Confederations Cup games, 89 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and 29 friendlies were played in the past month, bringing the total number of international â€˜Aâ€™ matches taken into account this year to 440.
Article by Maltafootball.com
Photo by Paul Zammit Cutajar