The Malta Football national team ended the year ranked 175th in the world as the world governing body published its final list for 2021.
Devis Mangia’s team was not in action during the past few weeks following the conclusion of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and ended the year with an overall tally of 958.95 points.
The national team finished above four other European nations in the rankings, namely Moldova, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and San Marino.
Malta are now expected to be back in action in March with a number of friendly matches before they make their return to competition in June with the start of the UEFA Nations League.
Here, the national team will be bidding to challenge for promotion in the three-team group that also features San Marino and the loser of the promotion play-off between Estonia and Cyprus.
Meanwhile, for the fourth time in a row, Belgium (1st) ends the calendar year at the top, but they have a very narrow advantage over second-placed Brazil who are trailing by only 2.1 points.
France (3rd) completed the podium, 2021.
For its part, Canada (40th) signs the “Progress of the year” having collected no less than 130.32 points in the last 12 months. Their journey to the semi-final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2021 as well as their good results in the qualifying campaign for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 have a lot to do with it.
UEFA EURO and Copa América winners respectively, Italy (6th, + 115.77 points compared to December 2020) and Argentina (5th, + 108.51 points compared to December 2020), also saw their point counter grow significantly.
The same goes for the United States (11th, + 103.51 points compared to December 2020) and England (4th, + 85.52 points compared to December 2020).