Azkals climb to all-time high of 143 in the world


The Philippines continued its remarkable rise in world football, moving up to an all-time high of 143 in the latest International Football Federation (Fifa) rankings released yesterday.

Picking up points from the 3-1 win over Chinese-Taipei in the final game of the Philippine Football Peace Cup and the scoreless draw against powerhouse Bahrain in a friendly last October, the Azkals jumped four places from last month to become the second-ranked team in Southeast Asia, just behind Vietnam at 138. The Azkals are also No. 20 in Asia.

“It’s a reflection of the improvement of the national team,” said Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta.

The Azkals raked in 184 ranking points, which also took into consideration the results of the last four years aside from the matches last month.

The rankings, instituted in 1992, also saw Thailand drop to 146 and Myanmar rise to 156, which meant that the best-ranked teams in the region will be in the same group in the AFF Suzuki Cup kicking off Nov. 24 in Bangkok.

The other group in the Suzuki Cup made up of Malaysia and Singapore, which are both tied at 163 in the rankings, 165th-ranked Indonesia and No. 179 Laos will be playing in Kuala Lumpur.

While Araneta welcomes the improvement in the ranking, the PFF president stressed the importance of the Azkals doing well in tournaments.

“The Fifa ranking is not the end because the goal in sight is to always perform well in competitions,” said Araneta, noting the significance of the Suzuki Cup and the AFC Challenge Cup, which the Philippines hopes to host next year to enhance its chances of making the 2015 Asian Cup.

Nonetheless, Araneta believes the Azkals’ rise has given the team a huge confidence boost.

  • Boy_08

    GO! GO! GO! AZKALS!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KF2TCBJ2AUC7VIPR3TACWUGITE Rednaxela VD

    Akala ko naman ang taas ng ranking ng Thailand, Indo and Vietnam.  Halos dikit lang pala sa Azkals.  But the way the Buzuki cup was hyped in media was like super powerhouses ang kalaban.

    Well good luck na lang sa Azkals

    • sniperslayer

       I’m sick and tired of people that know nothing posting on these sites. Those teams were powerhouses compared to us a few years back and the fact that we have reached their level of play so quickly and so soon is what is so remarkable about this Filipino team. They deserve more respect for pulling off the impossible.

  • azkal futbol

    another exaggerated NEWS. media hype — non-sense reporting… the VOLCANOES are the real thing. basta PDI – inquirer, pacquiao at azkal — akala mo totoong magagaling. hay, duda na ako sa mga news update nnyo

    • http://twitter.com/Sizzle75Ian ian martinez

      Exagerated means distortion of the facts, the article is describing the FACT that Azkals have gone up in the world rankings.
      There is plenty of room for multiple sports in Philippines, Football players have diferemt physical atributes from Rugby players, of course.
      Normally Rugby has more of a sense of fairplay, your post is inappropriate, to be honest.

    • sniperslayer

       Rugby is a very small sport and a small market compared to Football. Fact. Football is a bigger deal than boxing and Rugby by a million times over.

  • CmdrAdobo

    rank to 200 and win susuzki, ill be a happy man.

  • http://twitter.com/Sizzle75Ian ian martinez

    At this rate Azkals will be top 10 Asian team soon. Win, Lose or Draw, Azkals are exciting to watch, but we must have Younghusband brothers, otherwise, BACK DOWN THE LIST

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JL7VPEQO24RIJTEJTPXJWTIAQA romel

    @143 without Younghusbands…. great job!!!

  • oh_noh

    azkals climb so fast in the rankings! imagine, in just a few years, we have topped the likes of indonesia and malaysia who have been playing this game since time immemorial :D 

  • peteryang47

    Yes, at the rate your team is going, they not only stand an  even chance to win The Suzuki Cup but to even try to make an impact  on Major international tournament like the Asian Games, Asia Cup Olympics football  and World Cup in near future.  that is if everything goes well.  My Country  Malaysia qualified for the Olympics football twice, and bronze medalist twice in Asian Games if im not wrong  but since then, little of improvement  achievement and progress i had observed here   It would be nice to see another Asean country specially The Philippines making an impact on these major international competition , Reason is it will  help to boost  soccer standard in Aseans, This will help other Asean countries to push their football  to higher level..
    My view is , in order that Aseans football standard to be raise to another level, we need  a team of present  from the region to make  a major impact or achievement on major international  competition or tournament like the Olympics, Asia Cup, Asian Games and World Cup in near future .  and the best team right now in the region that has the material to strive for it , is the Philippines soccer team. although Vietnam and Thailand may also has the potential as well, but amongst the three, Philippines is the best bet as far as in my observation goes..
    As long as the football development in the country is on the right track,and to in order that it will work and achieve its Goal , the two ultimate important factor  must never be neglected is PROFESSIONALISM  and SUPPORT  for the Sport in the country. Even if the Philippines team failed to win the Suzuki Cup, I wont write them off, cos i had seen the seed has already being planted and nurture  in the team, the domestic league, both men and women and the grass root development as well. The recent Peace Cup Competition showed  maturity and understanding between  the  blend of youth and experienced players on the pitch. The seeds are already being planted in the national team as well, in the form of some of these youths. It is just matter of time before you reap your harvest (rewards).
    I would like to point out that the recent dismay results in the U- 22 competition in Myanmar does not mean your  U-22  team was a total  flop or failure  , as you surely saw some of these youths who performed very well in the recent victorious Peace Cup were drafted in from the U-22 that played in Myanmar..  Base from experience, Junior team that fared badly, some players in  later stage  does managed to  become a household name for their national team on international scene. So keep on playing the beautiful game and God bless. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-Mil/100002160424509 Fred Mil

    sorry for being so negative. there is nothing more i want to see than our teams dominate just like our dragon boat team.

    but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.malaysia and indonesia defeated us in the previous tournaments. now we are ranked higher than them. that ranking will only be legitimize if we defeat those teams in the coming tournaments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/siamrut.r สยามรัฐ เรืองนาม

    See You In Bangkok

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