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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Zealand dream of a top 30 FIFA ranking

You can always expect football officials to make you smile.

NZF chief executive Glading told Sunday News his exact expectation for the national team is "the tough but achievable challenge" of a top 30 Fifa ranking by 2020, and has personally researched and drafted a plan to make it happen.

Source: Sunday News.

Since the introduction of the revised FIFA Ranking method of calculation, there have been 45 rankings. Countries ranked 30th have needed an average of 792.35 points (739 minimum, 850 maximum).

New Zealand have had a high of 584 points in October 2008. Let's work from here.

Out of those 584 points, 546.975 were from the last 12 months (5 wins in World Cup qualifiers against (Fiji, Vanuatu twice and New Caledonia twice).

In order to reach the minimum needed (739 points), New Zealand would have needed 191.625 points from the other three time frames. Within 10.000 km (as the crow flies) of Wellington, only 6 teams would bring New Zealand at least 191.625 points for a win: Australia, Japan, Chile, Thailand, Vietnam and Argentina.

The safest bets would be Thailand (244.8 points) and Vietnam (206.55 points). I guess they would fly to New Zealand for the right price and in combination with some wins against OFC minnows, New Zealand could get the 191.625 points needed.

However, New Zealand high point was due to the burst of World Cup qualifiers in quick succession. That only happens once every four years. They don't have other competitive games. Well, there's the Confederations Cup, but New Zealand haven't exactly getting points there.

With teams unwilling to travel to New Zealand for friendly matches, the top 30 is nothing but a dream, I'm afraid. The only chance of playing more competitive games and climbing in the rankings would be to follow Australia's example and move to AFC. However, that would limit the opportunities for youth teams that have an easy access to various FIFA tournaments.

About me:

Christian, husband, father x 3, programmer, Romanian. Started the blog in March 2007. Quit in April 2018. You can find me on LinkedIn.


  1. Very interestinh post! You should write posts more often.


  2. Here is how they can easily do it even in 2012:
    Make as many friendlies as they can with Fiji and New Caldonia in 2011
    example 2014-5), and lose them on purpose(!).
    If they lose 5 times against each, each one of them should have around 400 points, and 80th position.
    then, the following year, they will play both twice in Oceania Championship. Should they win 4 times, they will get around 750 points in that year (120(pos)*3(win)*0.85(OFC coeff)*3(Con. Ch.) = 900 for each win against them and about 400 for win against the 4th in the group, averaging in about 733 points.
    That should be enough for them, when including the points from 2010.

    That shows what these rankings are worth... You should lose to be ranked higher in the future!

  3. Amir, that's awesmoe, I never though about purposlly losing, but those friendlies need to boast the minnows rankings to above 150 to have a major effect, plus you will be dropping your own ranking at the same time.

  4. Very good point Amir. It didn't cross my mind. :)
    However, Mr. Glading wants to be in the top 30 constantly, not once every 4 years.

  5. Winning World Cup would help New Zealand`s dream of top 30 ranking