Vietnam national squad wrapped up a successful 2019 as they firmly stand in 94th place in the latest FIFA world rankings as announced on December 19. This is their highest standing in the last two decades.
With 1,258 points, coach Park Hang-seo’s side maintain their 94th position in the world, the same as in the previous rankings last month. They have also firmly retained their No. 14 standing in Asia and No. 1 in Southeast Asia.
This is the highest rankings of the 'Golden Dragons' in the FIFA rankings in the past 20 years. Their highest ever ranking was No. 84 in the world in 1998.
With the remarkable achievements of Park’s players over the past year, they have climbed six places from their world No. 100 position on December 20, 2018, after the team were crowned Southeast Asian champions with their first AFF Suzuki Cup trophy in ten years on December 15 last year.
Not only have they attained a record ranking in 2019, the Vietnamese team have also firmly consolidated their No. 1 position in Southeast Asia over the year. Vietnam leave their arch-rivals Thailand, ASEAN’s No. 2 team, trailing behind at a distance of 19 places. Currently, coach Akira Nishino’s team are placed at No. 113 in the world.
Meanwhile, the Philippines rank 3rd in Southeast Asia with the 124th position in the world rankings, followed by Myanmar (world No. 136), Malaysia (world No. 154), Singapore (world No. 157), Indonesia (world No. 173), Cambodia (world No. 173), Laos (world No. 188), Brunei (world No. 191) and Timor-Leste (world No. 196).
Vietnam are the only Southeast Asian side in the world’s top 100 and in Asia’s top 15.
With the great distance ahead of their regional rivals in the world rankings, it will be of no surprise if Vietnam continue to top Southeast Asia in 2020, further improving their position on the world rankings.
The focus for the senior squad in the next year will still be the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. If Park and his players perform well there, they will definitely advance strongly in the FIFA rankings.
In the Asian section of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification’s second round, Vietnam are in the top of Group G with 11 points and a +4 goal difference after five matches played. They are on the verge of making history with huge advantages to progress to the third qualification round, which is also the final qualifying round for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, for the first time ever.
As scheduled, Park’s side will next meet hosts Malaysia on March 31, 2020, before playing hosts to Indonesia on June 4 next year and then wrapping up their World Cup qualification campaign as guests to the UAE on June 6, 2020.
On the top of the world rankings, the Belgian team continue to maintain their No. 1 position in the world with 1,765 points, followed by France, Brazil, England and Uruguay. Belgium were also crowned FIFA's Team of the Year for the second straight time as they won all 10 of their competitive matches in 2019.
Meanwhile, Japan ended the year as Asia's top ranked team at world No. 28, followed by Iran at world No. 33 and Korea Republic at world No. 40. Qatar were the year's biggest movers as they jumped 38 places up to world No. 55. Nhan Dan
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