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Malta climb six places in latest FIFA rankings

The Malta players celebrate Steve Borg's winner against Latvia. Photo: Domenic Aquilina

Malta climbed six places in this month’s FIFA world rankings that were published by the world governing body on Thursday.

Devis Mangia’s team enjoyed a positive international window this month as after they beat Gibraltar in an international friendly at the National Stadium, they picked two positive results in the UEFA Nations League.

In fact, the national team were first held to a goalless draw by Andorra and went on to clinch a memorable 1-0 win over Latvia in the UEFA Nations League in Riga with Steve Borg heading home a last-gasp winner.

Those positive results help the national team to move up six places in the latest link and are now ranked 180th in the world on 934 points, just above Liechtenstein.

While there has been no movement among the leading quartet – in descending order: Belgium, France, Brazil and England – Portugal (5th, up 2) have moved into the top five thanks to victories over Croatia (8th, down 2) and Sweden (18th, down 1).

Other countries moving in the right direction are Spain (7th, up 1), Italy (12th, up 1), the Netherlands (13th, up 1), and Germany (14th, up 1), with each gaining one place in the global classification. Wales (21st, up 2) climbed two rungs but remain just outside the top 20.

Russia, hosts of the last FIFA World Cup, are further back in 32nd but had the biggest gain in this edition this, ascending six places courtesy of wins over Serbia (31st, down 2) and Hungary (52nd, unchanged).

Despite not playing, IR Iran (30th, up 3) moved into the top 30 after Serbia and Turkey (32nd, down 3) dropped points.

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