Al-Ahram Weekly Online   23 February - 1 March 2006
Issue No. 783
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Top 20

Three African nations have made it into the world's top 20 international sides, according to new FIFA rankings.

African champions Egypt are the most significant movers, rising 15 spots to 17th place, moving above World Cup hosts Germany and the Pharaohs' highest ranking since 1998.

Yet two other sides find themselves above the recent Nations Cup winners. Despite failing to reach the semi-finals of Egypt 2006, Cameroon have moved up seven places to 16th, one above the Egyptians.

The best-ranked African team is Nigeria, with the Nations Cup bronze medallists lying in 12th spot, level on points with Italy.

Meanwhile, Ivory Coast, who were beaten by Egypt in the Nations Cup final staged two weeks ago, are now ranked 32nd in the world, after moving up 10 places.

The biggest African movers were Guinea, who leapt up 21 places to sit 56th in the table.

The 2006 African Nations Cup had a major impact on this month's FIFA rankings, but there is no change at the top. Brazil still lead the way, followed by the Czech Republic and then The Netherlands.

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