Ranked 24th in 9 years, now the next goal is to be ranked 1st in Asia

The Korean national team ranked 24th in the October FIFA rankings… the highest ranking in 18 years.

Korean soccer’s FIFA ranking rose to 24th. FIFA announced the October rankings on the official website on the 27th (Korean time). Korea earned 1,540.35 ranking points this month, 7.34 points higher than last month’s 1,533.01 points when it ranked 26th, moving up two places in the ranking. This is the highest ranking that Korean soccer has recorded in 18 years since 2005.

First place was taken by Argentina (1861.29 points), the winner of the Qatar World Cup. Argentina has not lost first place this year since winning the 2022 Qatar World Cup at the end of last year. Second place went to World Cup runner-up France (1853.11 points), and third place went to Brazil (1812.2 points).

The FIFA rankings, which were introduced in 1992, are scores that make it easy to recognize the current skills and performance of each country’s national soccer team. This is because as the popularity of soccer grows, a systematic management system becomes necessary.

In the early days, rankings were calculated in a simple way, with a win in an official match organized by FIFA giving 3 points and a draw giving 1 point. There were no deductions for losses, so participating in more international matches was advantageous in improving the ranking. However, this has led to growing voices of dissatisfaction that the FIFA rankings do not reflect the true skills of participating countries.

Recognizing the problem, FIFA has revamped the ranking system several times at regular intervals since 1999. The weights of strong and weak teams by continent, home and away, and international and major competitions began to be differentiated, and methods such as reflection of goal score and difference and giving additional points for more recent games were introduced. As a result, the FIFA ranking calculation method, which has become closer to a mathematical formula, is increasingly looking back to the past. Although it has become much more complex, it is evaluated that confidence in relative accuracy has steadily improved.온라인카지노

Korea started at 41st place in 1993 and rose to 17th place in 1998, its highest ranking ever. After the first ranking reorganization in 1999, it fell to 40th place, but rose again to 20th place in 2002, thanks to the effect of being the World Cup host country and the legend of reaching the semifinals. It also rose to 19th place once each in 2003 and 2004.

However, starting in 2006, when the second ranking was reorganized, Korea’s ranking quickly fell to 50th place. Afterwards, Korean soccer showed a roller coaster ride, moving from the top 20 to the top 60 for a while.

The mid-2010s are considered the biggest downturn in Korean soccer since the introduction of FIFA rankings. Ranking 25th in October 2012 was Korea’s last entry into the top 20 in the 2010s. Since then, Korean soccer has repeatedly failed to re-enter the top 20 for 9 years and 4 months until January 2022 (33rd place). In particular, in 2014, due to Hong Myung-bo’s elimination from the group stage of the Brazil World Cup and continued poor performance in international matches over the past several years, the team suffered the humiliation of falling to 69th place, their worst ranking ever.

This trend began to change in 2018. At the Russia World Cup, Shin Tae-yong laid the foundation for a rebound by winning against Germany in the final group stage match (the Kazan miracle). Coach Paulo Bento, who later took over the baton, recorded 35 wins, 13 draws, and 9 losses in 57 international matches, a high win rate of 61.4%, and gradually raised the status of Korean soccer again by achieving good results, including the round of 16 away game at the 2022 Qatar World Cup. In addition, the reform of the ranking calculation method, which was unfavorable to Asian countries, including the introduction of the ‘Elo rating’ method from 2018, also acted as a positive factor.

At the time of the launch of Bentuho immediately after the 2018 Russian World Cup, Korea’s FIFA ranking started at 57th, but rebounded to 29th in February 2022, during the final qualifying period for the Qatar World Cup, and regained the top 20. Immediately after the 2022 Qatar World Cup, which was Bentuho’s last stage, he rose to 25th place and had a successful finale.

After coach Jürgen Klinsmann took office, the team faltered for a while and their FIFA ranking fell slightly to 28th. Klinsmann got off to a poor start with only 3 draws and 2 losses in the 5 games since his appointment. However, after recording their first win by defeating Saudi Arabia in a European away game in September, they turned things around by defeating Tunisia 4-0 and Vietnam 6-0 in the October A match, achieving a good record of 3 consecutive wins and 11 goals without conceding. . And this naturally led to a rebound in rankings.

Korean soccer’s next goal is to enter the top 10 and be ranked first in Asia. Korea’s last record of being in the top 10 was when it ranked 19th in 2004, when the lingering effects of the Korea-Japan World Cup still lingered. In addition, if Korean soccer is limited to the current Asian countries, it ranks 3rd after Japan (18th, 1,612.99 points) and Iran (21st, 1,567.3 points).

The recent trend is very positive. Korean soccer has produced many high-level European players, including Son Heung-min and Kim Min-jae, who have now established themselves as world-class stars, as well as Lee Kang-in, Hwang Hee-chan, Lee Jae-seong, Cho Kyu-sung, and Jung Woo-young. The name value and status of each player are already at the highest level ever, surpassing the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup generation. In addition, the growth of young prospects in the age group national team, who led the team to the semifinals of the 2023 U-20 World Cup and three consecutive wins at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games this year alone, is also remarkable.

If Korean soccer can achieve its first summit in 64 years in the upcoming 2023 AFC Asian Cup, being ranked in the top 10 in the FIFA rankings and ranked first in Asia is not a dream. In addition, the FIFA rankings have more than just a symbolic meaning and serve as a great benefit in major tournaments, such as seeding for the World Cup draw.

But you cannot let your guard down. Japan, the biggest rival of Korean soccer, is enjoying its heyday, surpassing Korea based on its richer base of European players and strong performances in international matches. There are still doubts about whether Korean soccer can continue its current upward trend due to coach Klinsmann’s leadership issues and various controversies surrounding the Korea Football Association. This is why we must not be complacent about recent achievements and continue to make efforts for development and innovation.

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