National Pride

Cote d'Ivoire is Africa's best team at the moment. FIFA says so. Egypt, the current African champions, are second.

Emmanuel Eboue of Cote d'Ivoire, the top African team on FIFA's latest rankings (Image: Kehinde Wiley's artwork)

I’ll take any excuse to post about football. Fifa, football’s world controlling body, announced the latest rankings for world football this week. Not surprising are the top five nations: Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Uruguay and Portugal. We of course care about the African rankings.

The African teams in the top 50 are: Cote d’Ivoire (no. 16, down one place) followed by Egypt, defending African Cup of Nations Champions are 36th, down 2 places, with Ghana (37th, down 1), Burkina Faso (41th, down 1), Senegal (42nd, up 7), Nigeria (43rd, down 5), Algeria (46th) and Cameroon (48th), making up the rest of the top African teams.

My country, South Africa, is just outside the top 50: they’re 51st, down 4 places. Didn’t they draw and beat Egypt in recent African Nations Cup qualifiers eliminating the 6-time continental champions from next year’s finals? I thought that counted for something.

Kehinde Wiley’s painting of John Mensah, Samuel Eto’o and Emmanuel Eboue.

Sierra Leone (now 68th, up 24), Togo (95th, up 26) and Namibia (119th, up 24) are three of the six teams outside the top 50 who improved their position on the rankings by more than 20 places.

Sources: Here and here.

Further Reading

Goodbye, Piassa

The demolition of an historic district in Addis Ababa shows a central contradiction of modernization: the desire to improve the country while devaluing its people and culture.