The Vietnamese men’s national football team has climbed the FIFA rankings over the past 10-years to be named as the top footballing nation in Southeast Asia.
In the FIFA rankings that were released in December 2010, Vietnam were languishing at 137th in the world, behind Southeast Asian rivals Thailand and Indonesia. The first half of the decade saw Vietnam pick up a number of disappointing results in AFF Suzuki Cup matches, SEA Games, and World Cup qualifiers.
Under the management of Phan Thanh Hung, Hoang Van Phuc, and Falko Goetz, various Vietnamese teams failed to meet expectations at international tournaments. Despite this, an upturn in form in 2014 saw coach Toshiya Miura lead Vietnam to the AFF Cup 2014 semi-finals, in addition to winning a bronze medal at the SEA Games 29.
As a result of poor form in World Cup qualifiers, Vietnam fell to 143rd in the world, behind local rivals Thailand and the Philippines.
When Park Hang-seo was appointed as head coach in September 2017 the nation was ranked at 130th in the world. Tasked with leading the country’s football team into the world’s Top 100 teams, the Korean coach successfully accomplished this goal.
At present the national team are 94th in the world, 14th in Asia and ranked first among the countries of Southeast Asia, a total of 43 places higher than at the start of the decade.
Southeast Asian football in general has seen improvements over the past decade, with both the Philippines and Myanmar enjoying improvements to their world rankings.
Going into 2020, there are lofty ambitions for the Vietnamese team as they compete in tournaments such as the AFC U23 Championship 2020 finals, the AFF Suzuki Cup, and World Cup 2022 qualifiers. VOV
Vietnam have been listed on FIFA's website as one of the most surprising teams in 2019.
Vietnamese football enjoyed a hugely successful 2019 and are now the undisputed king of ASEAN football, but leaders of the national football federation think there's even more to come in 2020.