DON’T let the numbers fool you.
Both officials and players of the Philippine men’s football team on Wednesday night played down the new milestone reached by the Azkals following their highest Fifa ranking at No. 143.
“We should be happy we could see our improvement but we shouldn’t be overobsessed with the rankings,” Azkals coach Michael Weiss said during the sendoff dinner and press conference of the team for the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup to be staged in Thailand later this month.
“Some countries don’t play that much and we took advantage of playing as many games as we could so it helped in our rank,” the German mentor added.
Star striker Phil Younghusband said the rankings won’t be much of a factor on game day itself.
“I think the world rankings really doesn’t make a difference because on the day of the game, it depends on what team you bring,” the popular Filipino-British booter said. “Sometimes we have players who are available, sometimes not. But psychologically, it does show the progress of Philippine football.”
Skipper Chieffy Caligdong echoed his teammate’s sentiment, saying the rankings only matter if it can be backed up by a great showing on the field.
“It’s not just about the rankings; it’s about how you perform on the pitch.”