Bafana keeps climbing on World rankings

Thursday, May 19, 2011
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - Bafana Bafana continued their steady rise to 38th position on the Coca Cola FIFA World Rankings.

On the current rankings released on Wednesday, South Africa is now fourth on the continent, swopping places with Nigeria who fall to fifth place.

Bafana Bafana are ranked 38th in the world, moving just one spot from the 39th position they occupied last month.

Ghana, Ivory Coast and African Champions Egypt retained the top three positions, with Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Libya completing the top ten in Africa.

In their last seven matches, South Africa won five, lost one (against USA) and drew the other one.

They registered a one-nil victory against Tanzania in a friendly international played on Saturday, 14 May 2011 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

South Africa next plays Egypt in a 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Cairo on Sunday, 5 June.

Bafana have now risen 48 places since head coach Pitso Mosimane took over from Carlos Alberto Parreira just after the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.

A delighted Bafana coach said: "We have a good team, and there is a good vibe in the camp, hence the positive results. We are working very hard to get to the very top, but we remember that the more we progress the more the pressure and expectations.

"Being number four on the continent is wonderful, and we are now in the red zone where we will be getting a lot of aggression from our opponents. Every game we play will be a test of character. The latest move comes at a right time when we travel to Egypt and should be a morale booster for us," he said.

Mosimane said while there is also pressure from those coming from behind, there would be no turning back.

"We have to keep on moving forward. At this point, we must ask all South Africans to stand side by side with us as we face new challenges," he said.

The continent's top ten on global rankings are Ghana (15), Ivory Coast (21), Egypt (36), South Africa (38), Nigeria (39), Senegal (40), Algeria (41), Burkina Faso (44), Cameroon (49) and Libya (58).

However, there were no changes at the top of the World rankings with 2010 World Cup finalists, Spain and Netherlands, still holding first and second positions.

Brazil remains third, followed by Germany and Argentina in the top five. England, Uruguay, Portugal, Italy and Croatia make up the top ten.

The next Coca Cola FIFA World Rankings will be released on Wednesday, 29 June.

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