Wednesday, 17 Jan 2018
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Vietnam claims top spot of ASEAN in Fifa World Ranking

Updated at Friday, 22 Dec 2017, 15:11
The Hanoitimes - Vietnam National Football Team is the Southeast Asia’s new number one team following the release of the FIFA world rankings for the month of December.
Vietnam’s only game this past month was a 0-0 draw against Afghanistan but they remain undefeated in 2017, and climbed 13 places to 112th in the world, 17th in Asia and the first in South East Asia.  112th is a fairly high rank for Vietnam in the Fifa World Ranking in recent years, and for the first time since March 2015, Vietnam has retained the first place of ASEAN in Fifa World Ranking. Specifically, Vietnam has increased from 263 points to 298 points. 
 
Coach Park Hang Seo instructed players.
Coach Park Hang Seo instructed players.
 As the team has had a new coach in Park Hang Seo (former coach of U23 Korea) since October 11, Park Hang Seo said his target is to take Vietnam to move up in the top 100 in Fifa World Ranking. Vietnam’s high scores in November and December 2017 is mainly thanks to football matches in November and December 2016 in AFF Cup 2016 have not been multiplied to 100%, but reduced to 25%. As such, the average score of Vietnam has significantly increased as AFF Cup is considered as friendly tournament (multiplied by 1). In the Fifa World Ranking in November, Vietnam was at the 125th, standing at the second place of South East Asia, after Philippines and above Thailand. 

The rise saw them overthrow Philippines as the highest-ranked ASEAN side with the Philipines in 124th, falling six spots from last month. Myanmar were the other big movers as they rose by ten places to 140th, although they remain fourth in the region behind Thailand (up two spots to 130th).
 
Vietnam is at 112th in the Fifa World Ranking in December.
Vietnam is at 112th in the Fifa World Ranking in December.
The biggest sliders were Indonesia – down eight places into 162nd – while Singapore and Cambodia also fell down the rankings. There was no change in the bottom four of Malaysia, Laos, Brunei Darussalam and Timor-Leste, even though the latter climbed five places up to 191st.

Taking the top spot in Asia is Iran at 32nd, Australia at 38th , Japan at 57th, Korea at 60th and Saudi Arabia at 63th. Meanwhile, the world’s top 10 is unchanged with Germany as the number 1, in second place is Brazil and the third is Portugal. 

With the rank of 112th, Vietnam concluded a successful year of 2017 and qualified for the Asian Cup 2019.  On November, Vietnam’s football industry has received positive news when Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs agreed to become the director of Vietnamese Football Academy. Ryan Giggs set the objective for Vietnam’s football to reach the international level by 2030. As such, the Vice President of Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Tran Quoc Tuan said when FIFA decided to increase the number of national teams participating in the World Cup as of 2026, VFF has set up strategy to qualify for the world biggest football tournament in the future.

Ryan Giggs is supposed to play a part in building and developing PVF to become the leading youth football training center in Vietnam. However, this will not be his full-time job, as he and Paul Scholes have agreed to go a couple of times a year to help establish a blueprint of Vietnamese grassroots football. 
Ngoc Thuy
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