Nigeria will finish the year 2022 as the fifth best national team in Africa and 35th in the world, according to the December FIFA World rankings released on Thursday.
Brazil, who was eliminated in the quarterfinals stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, retains its rating as the number one team in the world.
The Samba men are now followed by South American rivals Argentina, who won the World Cup in Qatar at the expense of France via penalty shoot-out.
France is the current third best national team, while Belgium, previously in second place, and 2018 World Cup semifinalists England are in fourth and fifth positions respectively.
Ghana were eliminated from the tournament in the group stage after they narrowly beat South Korea but lost to Portugal and Uruguay.
The Black Stars edged the Super Eagles to the Qatar 2022 ticket on the away goals rule (0-0 in Kumasi, 1-1 in Abuja).
The Black Stars did not advance beyond the group stage despite recording a thrilling 3-2 win over South Korea and ruffling Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal teammates, who eventually claimed a nervy 3-2 win.
Aside the official games, the Eagles did not fare any better in the handful of friendly games played in the year.
Just before the kick-off of of the World Cup, Portugal hammered the Eagles 4-0 in Lisbon. The Eagles’ greatest loss in almost three decades followed another 2-0 defeat by Costa Rica in San Jose.
The Super Eagles also lost in friendly games against Algeria, Mexico, and Ecuador.
Nigeria will return to international football in March 2023 with the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The team will face Guinea-Bissau on March 20.
The Nigerian national team in 1994 ranked both 5th in Africaand 12th in the world after that year’s Africa Cup of Nations triumph and the promising performance round of 16 stage.
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Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.
In October 2004, Okosi joined Complete Communications Limited, publishers of Complete Sports newspaper and Complete Football magazine as a reporter and later script writer for the Complete Sports studio.
He worked there for 13 years until October 2017.
Okosi also worked various times as Correspondent, Content creator and Editor at Sports Market International Magazine, Opera News, All Nigeria Soccer Media and Iconic Media Watch.
He also undertook freelance writing gigs for some local and international organizations.
Okosi is a member of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Association of Voiceover Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA), Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
He has been part of cast in some Nollywood movies and radio dramas including Blood Money 2, Scores To Settle, Dead End 2, Another Campus Tale and Battle Line.
Aside mainstream media and the entertainment industry, he has interests in scouting/unearthing of talents in the sports and creative sectors, exports business and property development.