Morocco’s Atlas Lions have finished 2020 as the 35th best national team in the world, according to the latest FIFA World Rankings.
The rankings, published today, December 10, are the last update for this year. Morocco appeared in the 35th position, tied with Nigeria, with 1,474 points.
Compared to the end of 2019, Morocco has climbed eight ranks. In FIFA’s December 2019 World Rankings update, the Atlas Lions ranked 43rd worldwide.
The Moroccan national team was able to make the climb in the global rankings despite the suspension of international football for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The national squad climbed the eight positions in October and November alone, after plateauing in the 42nd-43rd ranks for more than one year.
The Atlas Lions were able to improve their score in the FIFA World Rankings thanks to their positive results in most of their recent games. The team won three games, including two official games, and drew in another.
On October 9, the Moroccan national team won 3-1 in a friendly game against Senegal, the highest-ranked team in Africa. A second friendly game on October 13 ended in a 1-1 draw between Morocco and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In November, Morocco dominated the Central African Republic in a double confrontation that falls within the 2021 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers.
The Atlas Lions won 4-1 in Morocco on November 13 before winning 2-0 in Cameroon on November 17—the Central African Republic could not host the game due to the lack of an eligible stadium.
The Atlas Lions’ climb in the FIFA World Rankings also met a slight ascent at the continental level.
After finishing 2019 as the fifth-best team in Africa, Morocco is ending 2020 tied in the fourth position with Nigeria. Senegal (20th worldwide), Tunisia (26th), and Algeria (31st) are still ahead of Morocco.
The Atlas Lions, however, are very likely to overtake some of their African opponents, especially if they keep on improving at the same pace as this year. While the team is still lacking in defense, critics largely agree that its attacking line, led by world-class players such as Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi, is among the best on the continent.