Nigeria moved one place from 49th position to 48th in the FIFA/Coca-Cola world ranking as Belgium and France share the top spot for the first time in the table’s 25-year history.
According to the rankings posted on the FIFA official website on Thursday, the Super Eagles amassed 1415 points to finish 48th in the month of September.
Nigeria’s Super Eagles who defeated Seychelles 30 on Sept. 8 to put themselves back in contention for a place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, improved their position from seventh to the fourth best team in Africa.
Seychelles dropped one spot from 188th to 189th in the rankings, while Libya, whom Nigeria face in their next group game of the AFCON qualifier next month are placed 99th in the rankings.
Senegal still maintains their number one spot in Africa and 25th in the world with 1492 points.
DR Congo and Morocco are second and third in Africa, and 40th and 45th in the world with 1447 and 1425 points respectively.
Russia, 2018 semi-finalists Belgium and reigning World Champions, France are joint leaders in the rankings, the first time the top spot is being shared in the table’s 25-year history.
Brazil, Croatia and Uruguay round up the top five.
While England, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and Denmark are sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th respectively.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on Oct. 25. (NAN)
Odion Ighalo shares throwback Photos
Super Eagles player, Odion Ighalo has shared his throwback photos, revealing his journey in football. Ighalo while posting the photos said, he has paid his dues.
Ighalo is the top scorer in the ongoing 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.
The Changchun Yatai player is the leading top scorer ahead of the tournament scheduled for Cameroon in 2019.
Juventus forced me to leave
AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain said he was treated very well by Juventus — right until the moment they forced him out of the club to make way for Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Argentine moved to Milan on loan in August after two seasons at Juventus, where he won two Serie A and Coppa Italia titles.
Higuain also scored 55 goals in 105 appearances in all competitions.
His departure, which he said was not his decision, came shortly after the Turin side signed five-times world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
Higuain, in an interview published on Thursday, said he felt something was amiss when he was left on the bench for the Coppa Italia final against AC Milan in May.
“That day, I had the feeling inside me that maybe something had broken down. And then they signed Ronaldo,” he said.
“The decision to leave was not mine. I gave everything for Juventus, I won several titles, after which Cristiano arrived.
“The club wanted to make a leap in quality and they told me that I could not stay and that they were trying to find a solution. The best solution was Milan“.
Still, Higuain said there were no hard feelings.
“Mine is a feeling of affection because they treated me very well,” he added. “Companions and supporters have given me huge affection. But I did not ask to leave. Basically, everyone says it, they sent me away.”
Higuain, who will take part in his first derby against Inter Milan on Sunday, has scored four goals in his first nine games for Milan.
“Milan have given me something more after a World Cup which wasn’t great,” he said. “I found what I was looking for.”
World number one, Halep, withdraws from WTA Finals
World number one, Simona Halep, on Thursday pulled out of next week’s World Tennis Association (WTA) finals due to a lower back injury.
“It’s always difficult to withdraw from a big tournament. Actually, I think it’s the first time in my life. So it was a tough decision but it’s better for my health.
“My back is not OK. I didn’t practice for the last four weeks. I’m not ready to compete at this level and I’m still sore. It’s not easy to go on court and compete at this moment.
“The decision was tough for sure,” the 27-year-old Romanian said on her verified Twitter account of an injury sustained during training ahead of the Wuhan Open last month and later diagnosed as a herniated disc.
Halep has enjoyed a stellar season, which saw her reach the Australian Open final before winning her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open.
“I wanted to finish 2018 on a high after such an incredible year, but sadly my back injury hasn’t healed the way we hoped it would and I need to put my long-term health first.
“I’m sad I won’t be able to play the fifth and final edition in Singapore, but I’m confident this is the right decision and will do everything I can to be back fighting my place at the WTA Finals next year.
“Singapore is a special city and I’m sure the fans will enjoy seeing some fantastic women’s tennis this week,” she added.
Despite withdrawing from Singapore, Halep is guaranteed to end 2018 as world number one for the second year in a row.
In her absence, Kiki Bertens, who finished ninth in the Race to Singapore standings, will be making her WTA Finals debut in the last version of the tournament in Singapore after a five year run in Southeast Asia.
The 26-year-old will be first Dutchwoman to compete at the season-ending showpiece in more than 20 years, since Brenda Schultz-McCarthy lost in the first round in 1997.
Bertens has won three tournaments this season, including a victory over Halep to claim the Cincinnati Masters title.
Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Sloane Stephens, Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina have also qualified for the $7 million event which will move to Shenzhen next year.
Cloudy, sunny weather, thundery showers to prevail on Saturday – NiMet
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