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ROAD TO RUSSIA: Does FIFA Ranking Reflect Super Eagles’ World Cup Prospects?

ROAD TO RUSSIA: Does FIFA Ranking Reflect Super Eagles’ World Cup Prospects?

The Super Eagles once again dropped in the monthly FIFA world ranking released on Thursday, slipping from 50th in the world to 51st.

Even before the latest ranking, the Nigerian side were already one of the lowest-ranked teams going to the Russia 2018 World Cup, which led to them being in the ‘weakest’ Pot 4 for the draw.


Super Eagles’ position in the ranking makes them not only the lowest-ranked team in their group, but also the lowliest African team going to Russia.

Group D opponents Argentina (No.4 in the world), Croatia (No.17 ) and even Iceland, the country with the lowest population ever to qualify for the World Cup, (No.22), are all well ahead of Nigeria in the ranking.

Zenith Ziva

Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Senegal are all better than Nigeria, according to the ranking. Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco are 23rd, 27th, 31st and 40th in the world respectively.
So, if we go by the ranking, the Super Eagles are supposed to finish last in their group and not perform as well as the other African sides in Russia.

But is it that straightforward? Can the Super Eagles defy FIFA and their ranking and outperform their group opponents and the other African teams?

A lot of Nigerians have condemned FIFA’S ranking but can the Super Eagles rise above it and make the country proud?
Or are you expecting them to perform exactly true to their lowly ranking?

It is time again to have your say as Completesportsnigeria.com continue our Road To Russia World Cup Debate series.
Use the ‘Leave a Reply’ field to air your views. Comments on Facebook are also welcome.

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  • Uno wat the super eagles are now extraordinary.fifa ranking does not matter.surely the super boys will trash deir foes in group D.Im very sure the boys will make us proud.Continue soaring nd forget about the ranking. up eagles!!!!!

  • Even Chile that are ranked 10th are not going to Russia. So FIFA ranking is for FIFA use only. You can imagine Nigeria dropped in ranking each time they beat stronger opponent such as when they beat Cameroon, etc, so what’s the use other than selecting teams in the pots? Super eagles should just go and make nonsense of the ranking by beating all in their group.

  • The ranking is inconsequencial during the real tournament. After all Naija was lowly
    ranked before our wonderful USA 1994 performance. It was after the world cup that our ranking jumped to 4th in the world. The key is good preparation for good performance.
    Up Naija, Up SE. One luv.

  • Honestly 4 years ago

    They should just go to Russia and prove fifa wrong.

  • Honestly 4 years ago

    Who cares about the fifa ranking.I never really believed in the so-called ranking. At the end of the day what will count is the result.

  • Teams gain points when they win matches but the eagles loose points winning a lot of matches I don’t get it

  • I think the fifa ranking nohow reflect to their performance because they did very well by finishing their group(group of death) unbeaten

  • Hmmm, FIFA ranking a big farce not a true reflection of current form. By God grace we will soar over the skies like the great eagle, FIFA shame…

  • Tony Iloka 4 years ago

    I just hope and pray for SUPER EAGLES’ opponents to take the ranking serious and underate us for them to receive the thrashing of their lives. Eagles will make mince meat of that obnoxious FIFA rankings when the chips are down.

  • steven okocha 4 years ago

    it is even good that opponents see them as underdogs.i know they would surpass previous records of being eliminated in the second round.

  • It is okay, what you are seeing is the politics of FIFA, the field of play in Russia will be the difining factor. To be great, you must be ready to fight against the status quo. This is the season that all known falsehood will be revealed

  • It been long that FIFA have been lying in their ranking but believe me it is good that we are humbled in this their ranking so God can exalt us on the pitch of play come June in Russia next year.Up SE,Up Nigeria!

  • White men should be careful we don’t wnt to experience bias during the world cup especially officiating. No rescison I beg them in Jesus name.Amen

  • Ifeanyi 4 years ago

    I like FIFA with their politics ranking. Remember that before the World Cup qualifying Algeria Was the best team in Africa but what happened they did not win a single match. I like it that way so the pressure will be on our opponents in the World Cup. Super Eagle’s will silence them in the World Cup by coming out from that group.

  • Argentina should for very long time be grateful to Lionel Messi for single handedly qualifying them for Russia. They were weak and so they struggled to qualify. Unlike their eternal rival Brazil. It was in this state of weakness they were still in when they played Nigeria in that friendly without Messi and loss. They were 4th in the ranking. Will they improve before or during the WC? I don’t think so. So they will not qualify from group D. Croatia were 17th on the ranking but they struggled to qualify but through the playoff. They will not qualify from group D too. Iceland are 22th in the FIFA ranking. They qualified from their group in the qualifying series. Apart from that they did well during the European nations cup even beating England in one of the matches to qualify for quarter finals. All WC teams are good so Iceland are not cheap. I think they will qualify from group D. Nigeria is 51st!!!!!!! position on the ranking. One of the lowest of the teams in the WC and the lowest in the group. Looking at their qualifying performance, they beat Cameroon and Algeria, teams ranked above Nigeria. It is that same ‘never allow FIFA ranking to affect your performance’ spirit that will make them qualify from group D along Iceland. We have a coach who has that winning mentality. He is frantically searching the whole earth for better players than those that qualified Nigeria for the WC. SO FIFA RANKING WILL NOT BE A FACTOR BUT RE-RANKING WILL BE ON THE FIELD. WE WILL SEE.

  • Falana Martins 4 years ago

    Fifa is right about the world ranking, the Nigeria team are bad before world cup qualifier, You can see from last nations cup, we didnt qualify that show Fifa are not bias. we should give thanks to this our new coach Gernot Rohr who assemble a great team for us. Fifa not at fault. Fifa ranking accumulated from countries previous matches, not just because we won Cameroon or Argentina we should be at the top of Fifa ranking, we have been extremely struggling before, we are still not great, just better. Just need to pray for the team for a good luck in the world cup.

  • KINGSLEY 4 years ago


  • jay jay 4 years ago

    I think fifa ranking is justiable because we dont qualified for the nations cup in two occasion so we have to work hard in Russia to see the super eagles qualify from the second round, up eagles they can do it because they are Young.

    • Temitope Adeola 4 years ago

      My friend, I am sorry but I don’t agree with you. It is true that we didn’t qualified for some Nations cup but we are not as bad as Morocco who recently find form.

  • Temitope Adeola 4 years ago

    My opinion is that; they intentionally ranked us low so has destroy our confidence and moral. But I feel they came late because we have already qualified. Beside, who knows the yardstick for their ranking? Ask Argentina to rank us after we beat them 4-2 now. They are the only one who will say the truth.

  • Enya, Samuel O. 4 years ago

    Thank you FIFA for the ranking; tell the whole wide world that we, Eagles, are the most underdog. Do you not know that the rejected stone comes to be the chief corner stone? When we won the AFrican Cup of Nation, we were still ranked low; if we carry the world cup trophy, deo volente, we would still rank low. Just know that the ranking removes focus on us and then, like the gods that kills a man in his happiest moment, we would sprink surprises.

  • Israel Akinlawon 4 years ago

    It is a blessing in disguise for Nigeria. The replica of what happened in 1994 will repeat itself. I see us qualifying from that group with 9 maximum points. By the time we get to Semi final, then the world will begin to take us serious. Up Super Eagles, Up Nigeria!

  • Ademola 4 years ago

    Lets wait and see what happens at the work cup.I believe the ranking is just to make some countries look ordinary and to reduce them into nothing. No matter how good an African country is their status at Fifa will not increase if they play against African countries. We Africans are not appreciated and not respected. A country like Iceland by all standard cannot beat most African countries but just because they emanate from Europe makes them special. I read a comment by Croatian coach where he sounded so confident that super eagles are not world class team that we look so ordinary technically and tactically. He said most Nigerian players have similar pattern. White mentality of superiority will be put to shame when we meet them they would be lucky to receive three goals from us . Until then I greet all Nigerians and wish them happy Xmas and new year

  • Edoman 4 years ago

    Fifa is corrupt and cynically bias against Nigeria, Why would fifa rank Congo Democratic Republic ahead of Nigeria when the Congo will not even be in Russia. Strong preparations will be the key. The young players should equally be psychologically turned to self-belief as well. Don’t let Messi and Aiguaro get into you. Just play your game and you will see results. Gook Luck, folks.

  • Wanogho 4 years ago

    You should know by now that whenever we win matches fifa rank us down.So by the time Nigeria will beat Croatia, Iceland and Argentina (yes because they will be beaten, victimized and conquered)at the world cup to collect the maximum three points in our group dont be surprise that fifa will rank us 98th in the world. Lets get used to their ranking. It will not change the way the super eagles will play in Russia. God bless the super eagles and God bless Nigeria.

  • We are all conversant with the politics of FIFA ranking and the psychological undertones behind such glaringly biased rankings. Raving and ranting will not change FIFA’s discriminatory attitude. FIFA is not a fair soccer officiating body. It has its agenda. FIFA is troubled and burdened by its complexes, one of which is the reality of accepting that a non-traditional country is capable of topping the soccer hierarchy. But we can do something. The Super Eagles are the architects of their fate. We can use our feet, chest, heels and heads to bang in goals. This outrageous performance will be in the open and FIFA would not be able to wish it away. FIFA will change its mind when our players strike terror in the territory of our opponents and come out victorious with the prized object, The World Cup. We can do this. Out protest should be in the field of play.

  • Michael A. 4 years ago

    To say Super Eagles is unbeaten in the world cup qualifier is no longer true, fifa has awarded the last match against Algeria the full 3 points to Algeria while Nigeria lost its lone point.

  • Kenny Oladepo 4 years ago

    Honestly speaking, d so-called FIFA ranking is nothing but rubbish. it’s not album always reflecting d true position of our super and currently mighty Eagles. I don’t kno why Nigerian team is most of d time underrated by FIFA. Anyway, let’s proof them wrong by doing very well at d coming world cup in Russia and let’s see if they’ll underrate us again…….up Eagles, up Nigeria!

  • emmanuel ekpenyong 4 years ago

    fifa ranking should not be our concern.what should be our concern is how to play friendlies against Brazil, Germany and portugal. What are we going to benefit from playing friendlies against Poland and England?

  • Bamgbose Mayowa 4 years ago

    The issue of FIFA ranking to me is a non-issue I know from. The onset that it is just a scheme to place the super eagle in a more difficult group. We will do the needful on the pitch not in any of the ranking statistic room in Zurich. The ranking is just FIFA’s personal opinion.

  • I think Fifa is just trying to distract d super eagles bcos dey pose a very big treat to d so called big teams occupying d top spot.

  • A good blog keep it up