SCOTLAND have risen to 64th in the latest FIFA World Rankings, but still sit behind the likes of Cape Verde, Haiti and Uzbekistan.
Gordon Strachan’s side, who beat Estonia 1-0 at Pittodrie last week, have risen five places since January’s poll. However, they have been overtaken by the surprise African Cup of Nations quarter-finalists, who have a population of just 500,000.
Scotland and Cape Verde have been locked in a rankings tussle in recent times, swapping positions in the FIFA charts four times in the last six months.
Scotland’s lowest-ever place in the rankings came just two months ago, when Craig Levein’s team plummeted to 72nd. The country’s average position in the rankings since their inception in 1993 is 47th.
Scotland could fall further in the rankings next month, with Albania and Belarus both capable of overtaking Strachan’s men who cannot improve on their current ranking position.
Spain remain the top-ranked team in world football, with Bhutan, the Turks and Caicos Islands and San Marino in joint last place with zero ranking points.
Profile: Cape Verde
• Cape Verde is an island nation in the Atlantic Ocean, which declared its independence from Portugal in 1975.
• The country’s football team qualified for their first African Cup of Nations this year, and reached the quarter-finals with two draws and a win against Angola.
• Henrik Larsson, Patrice Evra and Patrick Vieira all have Cape Verdean parents.
• Detractors of the SPL’s reconstruction plans should spare a thought for Cape Verde’s footballers and fans - the country’s teams play in ten different leagues on various islands, then the best teams compete in a separate national league at the end of the season.