Karl Decena, InterAKTV
The Philippines moved back up to its highest ever spot in the latest FIFA World Rankings released Thursday.
The Azkals rose from 145th to their all-time high at 143rd this April, a feat which they also achieved on November last year. The Filipinos remain third in Southeast Asia behind leaders Vietnam (132nd) and Thailand (140th) and 24th in Asia.
The country’s ranking was boosted by the Azkals’ performance in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifiers in Manila last March, where they beat Cambodia, 8-0, and Turkmenistan, 1-0, to top the group and earn a ticket to the tournament proper next year.
Kyrgyzstan, a team the Azkals might face in the Challenge Cup in Maldives next year, made the biggest move in the world ladder, improving by 59 notches to place just ahead of the Philippines at 142nd.
Meanwhile, Japan (29th) remained as the number one team in Asia, followed by South Korea (42nd), Australia (46th), Iran (56th) and Uzbekistan (66th).
Spain also continued its reign at the top spot of the world rankings, followed by Germany, Argentina, Croatia and Portugal.
World governing football body FIFA calculates every country’s ranking based on match results (a win, a loss or a draw), its importance (i.e. a friendly or a World Cup match), and the strength of the nation’s opponent ranking-wise. These points are then accumulated from the country’s past results in the previous four years.