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Nigeria fall on FIFA ranking

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AFCON 2019

Nigeria have dropped by one spot in the FIFA ranking for September, placing 34th on the ranking table.

In the ranking table on the world football governing body’s website on Thursday, Nigeria garnered 1, 482 points in the month under review as against 1,481 it had in August.

However, in spite of the drop by a spot, Nigeria still occupy the third position on the continent behind Senegal and Tunisia who have 1,546 and 1,493 respectively.

On the global scene, Belgium remain top of the FIFA World Ranking after an action-packed number of weeks in international football.

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In the period under review, 78 friendlies, 74 continental qualifiers and 60 FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifiers took place.

Although the teams in the top 10 remain unchanged, there have been some movements.

France (second, up 1) and Brazil (third, down 1) have traded places, while Spain (seventh, up 2) are the top 10’s biggest movers.

The Cayman Islands (193rd, up 11) and Grenada (160th, up 13) are the joint-biggest climbers by points, reaping the rewards after their successful showing in the CONCACAF Nations League.

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Indeed, Grenada’s 13-place surge means that they are September’s highest climber by ranks.

Other notable upwardly-mobile nations include Jamaica (47th, up 5), who have broken into the top 50.

Others are the Republic of Ireland (28th, up 4), Russia (42nd, up 4), Guatemala (133rd, up 11), Suriname (142nd, up 9), Montserrat (187th, up 9) and Djibouti (186th, up 9).

Djibouti recently overcame Eswatini (150th, down 11) over two legs to advance to the second round of Africa’s World Cup qualifying for just the second time.

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Meanwhile, Kosovo (119th, up 1) have been rewarded for their impressive performances in UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying by reaching their best-ever position in the FIFA ranking.

The Cook Islands are not ranked in the latest standings due to not playing an international “A” match in the last four years.

After their next international “A” match, they will be included in the ranking table again with their points total from July 2019, plus/minus the points won or lost in the new match.

(NAN)

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Mexico’s third tier club, Coyotes Tlaxcala, ‘court’ Cristiano Ronaldo

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Cristiano Ronaldo has been told how “handsome” he would look in the kit of a Mexican third tier side.

Coyotes Tlaxcala made the flirty transfer approach to the Juventus star on Twitter amid rumours over his future.

The team based in the state of Tlaxcala – just east of Mexico City – mocked up a picture of Ronaldo in their red camo style kit accompanied by a witty caption.

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They wrote:

“Did you see how handsome you would look with the Coyotes, my commander @Cristiano Ronaldo?

“But, you strawberries, tell Juventus to answer the phone to us.”

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Barca reject RB Leipzig, Gladbach offers for Ilaix Moriba

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Barcelona have turned down Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig’s approaches for highly-rated 17-year-old midfielder, Ilaix Moriba.

According to AS Sport, the German outfits wanted to take him on loan, but Barca are not interested in letting him go.

Ilaix Moriba is one of the most promising young people in Europe. Despite being a first-year youth, the midfielder has already established himself in the midfield of Garcia Pimienta’s Barça B and in the U-17 team.

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Sports director Eric Abidal is very confident in the progression of the midfielder and wants him to be the leader of Barça B next season.

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Man City goalkeeper, Claudio Bravo, set to join Real Betis

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Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is set to join La Liga side Real Betis, according to reports.

Bravo was one of Manchester City’s first signings for Pep Guardiola and the Chilean quickly replaced Joe Hart as the first-choice goalkeeper.

Brazilian international Ederson has emerged as the new number one, though Bravo managed 17 appearances last season.

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The 37-year-old is wanted by new Real Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini, with Goal.com reporting that the ‘keeper is willing to take a paycut to facilitate a move.

Bravo is best known for his time in Spain as Barcelona’s goalkeeper when he shared duties with Marc-Andre ter Stegen before being forced into the reserve role.

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The Chilean was also linked with moves to Arsenal, Celtic, Galatasaray and City-affiliated group New York City FC.

Bravo will remain with the club until the conclusion of their Champions League involvement, with the side due to play Lyon in Lisbon as part of UEFA’s mini end-of-season tournament.

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