Morocco still far from Nigeria’s 1994 mark despite historic finish at Qatar 2022


The Atlas Lions of Morocco ended the 2022 FIFA World Cup in grand style setting and smashing records in the process.

They finished 4th behind third-place Croatia, runners-up France, and winners Argentina at the just concluded Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Morocco joined Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010 as the only four African countries to reach the quarterfinal mark at FIFA World Cup.

Walid Regragui-led group went a step further creating a record of their own by beating favourites Portugal, 1-0 in the quarterfinal to book a semifinal spot.

They became the only African country ever to make it to the last four at any FIFA World Cup, they had a chance to make more history but were beaten by France in the semis and Croatia in the third-place match.

After the conclusion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Morocco ended as the fourth-best team in the world.

But despite their heroics beating top-ranked nations like Belgium, Spain, and Portugal on their way to fourth place finish, they could only move 11 places in the latest FIFA Rankings.

The Atlas Lions now ranked 11th best in the world, first in Africa but this position is still way below the Super Eagles mark set in 1994.

Super Eagles of Nigeria were ranked 5th best team in the World in April 1994 months before the start of the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA.

They were ranked 10th in the July, and September rankings after the 1994 World Cup where they only finished in the second round after losing 2-1 to 10-man Italy.

The 1994 Eagles which paraded top scorer from the Portuguese league (Rasheed Yekini), Premier League, and French league marksmen (Efan Ekoku), and (Victor Ikpeba) still remain the best African team ever assembled.

In the latest FIFA Rankings (December 2022), Brazil remained the top team, Argentina 2nd, France 3rd, Belgium dropped two places to 4th and England completed the top five in the World.

Top 10 teams in the world

1. Brazil
2. Argentina
3. France
4. Belgium
5. England
6. Netherlands
7. Croatia
8. Italy
9. Portugal
10. Spain

Morocco jumped to the top spot in Africa, Senegal dropped to the 2nd slot, Tunisia 3rd, Cameroon 4th and Nigeria remained 5th best in Africa but 35 in the world dropping three places.

Egypt, Algeria, Mali, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso completed the top 10 best African teams with Ghana still the 11th best in Africa but now 58 in the world.

Top 10 teams in Africa

11. Morocco
19. Senegal
30. Tunisia
33. Cameroon
35. Nigeria
39. Egypt
40. Algeria
45. Mali
47. Ivory Coast
50. Burkina Faso


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