Vietnamese players in action during a training session in the UAE ahead of their World Cup qualifying campaign next month. (Photo: VFF)
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, most national teams have played no international matches so far this month. Meanwhile, some recent international friendly games have yet to be calculated by the FIFA to adjust teams’ world ranking.
Given that fact, there was little change regarding the national teams’ position in the newly published world ladders, with Park Hang-seo’s Vietnamese side remaining the highest-ranked in Southeast Asia, followed by Thailand (world no. 106) and the Philippines (world no. 125), and 13th in Asia.
World no. 28 Japan continued to lead the continental rankings with 1,509 points, above Iran (world no. 31, 1,499 points), the Republic of Korea (world no. 39, 1,460), and Australia (world no. 41, 1,457).
The world’s top 10 also saw no shuffle, with Belgium holding onto the top spot (1,783 points), leaving France, Brazil, England, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Argentina, Uruguay and Denmark behind them.
The only change in the FIFA rankings for May 2021 is Bahrain swapping place with Kyrgyzstan to settle for 98th and 99th, respectively.
The next world standings are expected to see many fluctuations as an array of international tournaments are set to take place next month such as the Euro and the World Cup qualification events.
The 29-member Vietnamese team have flown to the United Arab Emirates for the remaining three Group G matches in the second round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. As scheduled, Park Hang-seo’s side will play a friendly match against Jordan on May 31 before entering their three World Cup qualifying matches against Indonesia, Malaysia and the UAE on June 7, 11 and 15, respectively.
Vietnam are now on top of Group G with 11 points from three wins and two draws, three clear of third-placed Thailand and two above second-placed Malaysia./.