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Vietnam has experienced the strongest growth in Southeast Asia in the past 10 years

Vietnam has experienced the strongest growth in Southeast Asia in the past 10 years

After 10 years, Vietnam leaped 39 places on the FIFA rankings, while Southeast Asian countries are also shifting significantly.

After a decade, Southeast Asian football is showing signs of development across the region. In the club-level continental arena, Southeast Asian representatives are no longer so weak compared to rivals in the remaining regions.

Player quality also increased significantly. The source of Vietnamese football players and especially Thailand football is much more attractive. Many Thailand players become "magnets" that attract J.League 1 teams like Chanathip Songkrasin or Theerathon Bunmathan. Some players started to look to Europe for opportunities. The best goalkeeper Kawin of Thailand is Nguyen Cong Phuong and Doan Van Hau of Vietnam.

In general, Southeast Asian football is gradually escaping from prejudice of "lowland area of world football". The most obvious evidence is that the FIFA rankings recognize the strong rise of some representatives. 

FIFA rankings announced on June 3, 2009, Thailand football leads Southeast Asia with the 116th place. After exactly a decade, they remained in place. 10 years on, AFF trophies do not make "War Elephants" improve performance on the overall rankings. Similar to Malaysian football, they remained the 159th place in the last decade. The achievements in the international arena with this country are relatively stable and there are not too many highlights.

Vietnam has experienced the strongest growth in Southeast Asia in the past 10 years

Meanwhile, Vietnam football shows strong progress. "Golden Dragon" ranked 135th in 2009. 10 years later, coach and teacher Park Hang Seo led Southeast Asia. The goal of reaching the Top 100 of the Korean military leader does not take two years to complete as originally planned. In June 2019, Vietnamese football ranked 96th in the world - the highest position in the past 20 years.

Some of the achievements can be mentioned are the 2018 AFF Championship Cup, Top 8 2019 AFC Asian Cup, 2018 ASIAD Top 4 or Silver medal in the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship. They create a positive effect and significantly change the perspective of competitors to Vietnam.

Philippine football also has a success story over the past decade. The Azkals boosted their development by calling some Filipinos based in Europe. Stephan Schrock, James Younghusband, Phil Younghusband, or recently Neil Etheridge helped the Philippines football soar in the FIFA rankings. They increased 34 steps, from 160 to 126 worlds after 10 years.

For some other countries, football has also become increasingly important and has the right direction. Myanmar and Cambodia football are gradually advancing on the world rankings. Myanmar is currently ranked 138, up from 155. Cambodia increased by 10 places, to 169th. However, not all countries have had a positive progress. The rise of FIFA members along with a number of domestic issues hindered the development of some Southeast Asian countries.

Indonesian and Singaporean football seems to have declined quite a lot in the past ten years. Both teams are in the Top 150 in the world in 2009 (Singapore ranks 134th, Indonesia is 4 points lower). In the newly released rankings, they all fell out of the Top 150, ranking 160th and 162th respectively. Timor-Leste and Brunei also went down after 10 years. While Brunei football has dropped 10 places, to 193 from 183, Timor-Leste has dropped two places to 200.