The Malta women’s national football team has made the “most progress” in the FIFA World Rankings after jumping a whopping 16 places to 85th place.
The team ended the year on a high note after securing two away wins against Georgia and Israel in the Euro 2020 qualifying rounds, accumulating a total of 37 points in the process.
The late wins earned the team a 16 place jump, ending the season in 85th place ahead of Moldova and just behind the Faroe Islands.
According to FIFA, this is the highest-ranking Malta has obtained in three years and is a promising sign of things to come.
After a rocky start to the year, the women’s team managed to gain some momentum during the Euro qualifiers campaign, ending Group B with a total of 10 points and tying with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
It was also the highest number of points ever recorded by the women’s national team in a qualifying campaign for a major tournament.
Among the players who represented Malta this year was 16-year-old Haley Bugeja, who became the youngest player ever to score a hat trick at a European qualifier when she found the net three times against Georgia last month.
At 16 years and 205 days, the Sassuolo striker broke a record previously set by Scotland’s Julie Fleeting, who scored four goals against Estonia at age 16 and 259 days.
With a young, revitalised group of women, many of whom play abroad, the women’s football team sure has a bright future ahead of it.
In fact, it has been an incredibly fruitful year for football this year, with the men’s team also climbing the FIFA rankings after going on a record-breaking seven-game unbeaten streak.
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