The Super Eagles have been rewarded for their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations outing with a move up the ladder of the current FIFA ranking.
The Nigerian side won three of their four games at the continental tournament in January and climbed four spots in the latest ranking published on Thursday.
The Eagles rose from 36th to 32nd in the world and from fifth to third in Africa. They improved their points total from 1478.18 to 1509.31, gaining 31.13 points.
The Nigerian side also overtook Algeria and Tunisia to climb up to third place in Africa. Immediate past African champions Algeria, who lost two of their three matches at the 2021 AFCON and drew one, dropped from 29th in the world to 43rd and from third in Africa to seventh.
Also, Nigeria’s opponents in next month’s Qatar 2022 World Cup playoffs, Ghana, are now 61st in the world and 11th in Africa. In the previous ranking released in December, the Black Stars were 52nd globally and eighth on the continent.
African champions Senegal reaped the rewards of their first-time triumph by ascending from 20th in the world to 18th, their highest ever position in the ranking.
Cameroon who finished third at the AFCON they hosted, rose 12 spots to 38th in the world. They also gained one spot in the African ranking, going from seventh to sixth.
AFCON runners-up Egypt also gained 11 places to reach 34th. The Pharaohs moved from sixth to fourth in Africa.
However, the biggest leap in the latest ranking is by Gambia, who climbed 25 spots from 150th to 125th in the world after reaching the quarter-finals on their debut AFCON appearance.
The Scorpions gained an impressive 13 spots in the African standings, going from 46th to 33rd.