Cambodia may have been down on their luck in the early years of the world rankings, but as unlikely as it may sound they were actually a former power of the Asian game in the 1960s and early 1970s. Admittedly, that’s not a startling claim to fame in global terms, but nonetheless the national team of the Khmer Republic, as Cambodia was previously known, enjoyed a period of relative success during that era. Having been exposed to the game in the early twentieth century, much earlier than many other Asian nations – a ‘benefit’ of their French colonial past – football in Cambodia gradually gained popularity. Consequently, when many other countries in the region were still only taking up the game, Cambodian football was well organised and reached its peak with a fourth place finish in the 1972 Asian Cup. Unfortunately for them there were no world rankings in those halcyon days to record and reflect this success. Continue reading
In the time since the FIFA world rankings began, no national football team has spent more time ranked as the worst national team in the world than Montserrat. For years on end, they have been cut drift from most of the rest of the world, suffering alone or occasionally alongside other equally unfortunate teams, at the bottom of the rankings.
At times for the Montserratians, it may have felt like a spell of misfortune that would never be broken. But nothing lasts forever. When the cycle of defeat was finally broken, it was done so in a remarkable way. Continue reading