The rising Qantas Socceroos

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Australia has rocketed up the charts today, achieving a ranking of 16 in the latest FIFA rankings today.

It is the highest Australia has ever been placed in FIFA’s international ratings system which ranks 203 member nations of FIFA.

“We are delighted at this news,” said Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO, Ben Buckley.

“Rankings are not the ‘be all and end all’ of football but they are certainly an indicator of our progress.

“The more competitive games we play, the greater the opportunity to improve our position in the world rankings and the more match hardened the team becomes.

“This is a great reward for the Qantas Socceroos form in the qualifying rounds for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

“Once again, we congratulate Pim Verbeek and the players for their efforts.”

The Qantas Socceroos became the second team to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup (excluding the host nation) in early June, and finished the fourth stage of qualification with 6 wins and 2 draws against strong rivals Japan, Qatar, Bahrain and Uzbekistan.

Buckley said he had recently returned from a brief trip to South Africa and said that it will be a “fantastic” tournament.

“We can’t speak highly enough of the facilities we visited, the people we met and the atmosphere generated by local supporters at the games.”

32 countries compete in the FIFA World Cup which will take place in South Africa from 11 June – 11 July next year.

Australia will know its opponents in the group stage at the Final Draw in Cape Town on 4 December.

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