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Bafana move up one spot in Fifa rankings

Bafana Bafana moved to 55th, despite their less than flattering performance at Afcon 2015.

FILE: Bafana Bafana’s clash with Senegal on 23 January 2015 in their second Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign. Picture: Twitter @BafanaBafana.

JOHANNESBURG - World football governing body Fifa released its latest rankings on Thursday and there were some significant movements on the leaderboard.

Bafana Bafana hopped up one place into 55th position, despite their less than flattering performance at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

There have been gradual improvements by South Africa under the guidance of coach Shakes Mashaba, but the team hasn't managed to break into the top 50, even after their heroics in the Afcon qualifiers.

The 1996 African champions are the 16th best side on the continent, while Algeria still lead the way as they are placed 18th in the world.

Reigning world champions Germany and 2014 World Cup finalists Argentina are still in first and second place respectively, with Colombia, Belgium and the Netherlands rounding off the top five.

The biggest news coming out of the latest rankings is that 2010 world champions Spain have continued their slump in the standings, falling out of the top 10. Vincente del Bosque's team are in 11th place.

Their 2014 World Cup campaign was arguably the most disastrous by any defending champion, as they crashed out in the first round following 5-1 and 2-0 losses to the Dutch and Chile, respectively.