Socceroos are rated the world’s sixth-best national football team in new study, ahead of giants France and Argentina – and if you thought that was shocking, see who came THIRD
- Bizarre football ranking system saw New Zealand in third spot, Australia in 6th
- Football powerhouses Argentina (7th) and France (10th) were below Aussies
- Left-field ranking system was based on national teams with the most trophies
- Australia has won OFC Nations Cup on four occasions, also the 2015 Asian Cup
With the World Cup in Qatar just 17 days away, the Socceroos have been rated the sixth-best football nation on the planet, according to a new study that is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows.
And even more bizarrely, New Zealand are ranked third – ahead of the likes of Lionel Messi’s Argentina (seventh) and Kylian Mbappé’s France (tenth).
Ticket Source released the left-field ranking system, which they based on the national teams with the most trophies.
Australia find themselves comfortably nestled in the top 10 based on four previous Oceania Nations Cup triumphs – as well as the 2015 Asian Cup success on home soil.
The Kiwis have also won the OFC Nations Cup four times.
Brazil have hoisted the World Cup trophy on five occasions – and also won the Copa América nine times – but only sit in fourth spot.
With the World Cup in Qatar just 17 days away, the Socceroos have been rated the sixth best football nation on the planet in a new study (pictured, midfielder Jackson Irvine)
Australia finished ahead of Lionel Messi’s Argentina (seventh), who will be one of the favourites in Qatar come November 20
Italy top the standings ahead of Germany, with both elite football nations winning the World Cup four times.
The rankings are also very different to FIFA’s standings, who have Brazil ahead of Belgium and Argentina.
France and England round out the top five, with Graham Arnold’s Socceroos in 38th spot.
New Zealand – who failed to qualify for Qatar after losing a playoff versus Costa Rica in June – are ranked 105th.
Come Australia’s first World Cup match against France on November 23, the Socceroos will be rank outsiders.
According to sportsbet, France are $1.20 favourites, with the Socceroos paying as much as $12.
France rounded out the top 10 in the study, despite winning two World Cups and two European Cups in their rich history
Arnold said after beating Peru in June qualifying for a fifth successive World Cup was one of the ‘greatest achievements ever’ – and it hard to argue given many in his squad play in the A-League.
Gone are the days were a number of Aussies feature in the English Premier League, Serie A in Italy or Germany’s Bundesliga.
But with rising stars such as Central Coast Mariners striker Garang Kuol ready to announce themselves to the world, the ‘go for broke’ mentality could prove to be a masterstroke in the Middle East.
‘We’ve got some good kids,’ Arnold said after Australia beat New Zealand in two friendlies recently.
‘There’s some exciting players and some exciting futures for a lot of them.’