Joseph Yobo with the AFCON trophy

Joseph Yobo with the AFCON trophy

With just five days after the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa,  Nigeria is reaping from the gold won by the Super Eagles at the AFCON.

The February edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking is dominated by the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. By claiming their third title, Nigeria  have not only ended a 19-year drought since they last won the tournament, but have also climbed 22 places from 52nd position in January to 30th in February – their best ranking since August 2010. On the African continent, Nigeria who are ninth last month are now third in the latest ranking. Beaten finalists at the Nations Cup, Burkina Faso, have moved up a massive 37 places to 55th in the world. Hosts South Africa (60th, up 25) have also enjoyed a significant leap of 25 places.

Although former Africa Cup of Nations winners Côte d’Ivoire (12th, up 2) bowed out at the quarter-final stage, last year’s runners-up have achieved their best-ever world ranking (12th). Mali are second in Africa, while Algeria and Tunisia are fourth and fifth respectively.

However, the Elephants have not made it into the top ten in the world, where Spain (1st, unchanged) continue to reign supreme ahead of Germany (2nd, unchanged) and Argentina (3rd, unchanged). England (4th, up 2) complete the top four after their home win over Brazil.

The first matches of the latest round of CONCACAF qualifying matches for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil have resulted in improved rankings for nearly all of the teams involved, with Panama (42nd, up 4), Honduras (51st, up 8), Costa Rica (53rd, up 13) and Jamaica (56th, up 2) all making progress once again. Only the USA (32nd, down 4) have fallen in the ranking. Olympic champions Mexico remain in 15th place despite their goalless draw against Jamaica in the Aztec Stadium. Venezuela (45th, up 10) have returned to the top 50, which now contains all ten CONMEBOL teams.

Monthly Africa football rankings released Thursday by FIFA (Africa ranking, world ranking):

Ivory Coast 1 12

Ghana 2 19

Mali 3 25

Nigeria 4 30

Algeria 5 34

Tunisia 6 42

Zambia 7 47

Central African Republic 8 51

Burkina Faso 9 55

South Africa 10 60

Sierra Leone 11 61

Libya 12 62

Cape Verde Islands 13 63

Togo 14 67

Egypt 15 70

Guinea 16 73

Morocco 17 74

Gabon 18 75

Cameroon 19 79

Senegal 20 82

Uganda 21 84

Democratic Republic of Congo 22 86

Congo Brazzaville 23 91

Benin 24 93

Angola 25 94

Niger 26 97

Zimbabwe 27 100

Sudan 28 104

Equatorial Guinea 29 107

Mozambique 30 112

Malawi 31 113

Ethiopia 32 114

Burundi 33 115

Liberia 34 119

Namibia 35 123

Kenya 36 126

Tanzania 37 127

Botswana 38 128

Rwanda 39 130

Sao Tome e Principe 40 135

Chad 41 140

Gambia 42 145

Lesotho 43 162

Mauritania 44 168

Guinea-Bissau 45 176

Swaziland 46 180

Madagascar 47 181

Mauritius 48 187

Comoros Islands 49 191

Eritrea 50 197

Seychelles 51 197

South Sudan 52 200

Somalia 53 203

Djibouti 54 204

Next rankings: Mar 14