The Socceroos are expected to be ranked sixteenth in the latest FIFA world rankings. This will be Australia’s highest FIFA world ranking ever, moving up from 29th.
The super June of World Cup Qualifying football for the Socceroos has added extra excitement to the results achieved by the national team. A draw against Qatar and wins against Bahrain and Japan not only secured top of the group standing but highest ranked team in Asia.
There will be echoes of Lucas Neill’s statement of Australia being a top ten team in the world ringing loudly in some ears around the country.
Australia has benefited greatly from the scheduling of the other Confederations’ World Cup qualifiers. In the month of June, other than the Confederations Cup, there have been few international football games played around the world.
In the same period, Australia played three World Cup Qualifiers, resulting in one draw and two wins, scoring four goals and conceding one in World Cup Qualifiers, thus enabling the national team to secure strong points toward their world ranking and the teams above not securing any at all.
Australia could have been ranked as high as fifteenth if the USA had not made the final of the Confederations Cup. However, with their runners up result, the USA should now be ranked twelfth, which pushes Australia back to sixteenth.
Brazil will be now ranked first, Spain second, Netherlands third, Italy fourth and Germany fifth.
Regardless of the many opinions on the validity of the FIFA world ranking system, based on the rankings of the top 10 teams in Asia, it will make it very difficult for Australia to make the Top 10 in world football.
It is at the least a timely announcement to the rest of the world that Australia is a football nation worthy of hosting a World Cup tournament in 2018 or 2022.