Jürgen Klinsmann, who has been criticized for some time, has won three in a row. The good results from the September trials to the October trials have led to a rise in the FIFA rankings.
The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) released its rankings on Oct. 26 (KST) after the October A-match period ended. South Korea was ranked 26th in the FIFA rankings with 1533.01 points in September, but after the October trials, the team jumped two spots to 24th with 1540.35 points. The country has been on the rise since last month, moving up the rankings one by one.
The Korean Football Association parted ways with coach Paulo Bento after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Bento led the team to the round of 16 at the tournament, but he will not be with them until the 2026 World Cup in North and Central America. The federation began a search for his successor and handed the baton to Klinsmann to set sail on a new course.
Compared to Bento, Klinsmann gave his team more freedom and tried to play attacking soccer. He played Son Heung-min in an attacking midfield position on free-rolls to boost the team’s offense. When things were going well, the team was on fire, but they had their ups and downs depending on player form. The team’s failure to win a game until the September exhibition match against Wales opened them up to criticism apart from their claimed goal of “winning the Asian Cup”.
The team turned things around in Saudi Arabia in September when Cho Kyu-sung scored the winning goal. After the European tournament, the team failed to escape the work-from-home controversy, but turned things around in October with back-to-back 4-0 wins over Tunisia and 6-0 victories over Vietnam in A matches. Three straight clean sheets and 10 goals in the tournament have been encouraging so far.
In the FIFA rankings, Japan moved up two spots to No. 18, the highest ranked team in Asia. In September, Japan put in impressive performances against Germany and Turkiye in their European friendlies. They shocked Europe by winning a World Cup group stage revenge match against Germany, and Germany fired head coach Jupp Heynckes after the loss to Japan. It was the first time in German soccer history. 스포츠토토
After Japan, Iran is next on the list at No. 21. Iran’s FIFA ranking remained unchanged. Japan, Iran, and South Korea continue to round out Asia’s top three, while dark horse Australia is next in line. Vietnam, which was tied with South Korea, moved up slightly from 95th to 94th in the FIFA rankings.
South Korea will begin their quest for the North American Championship in November. They will face Singapore at home before traveling to China. After the second round of qualifiers, the team will prepare for the Asian Cup in Qatar next January.