The Philippine women’s national football team is gearing up for their historic debut in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, and their recent climb up the FIFA Women’s Rankings only adds to the excitement.
On Friday, the Filipinas rose four places to a new program-best placing of World No. 49, after remaining stagnant at No. 53 for the past couple of months. This progress is a testament to the team’s dedication and hard work, and Filipinas head coach Alen Stajcic believes it points in the right direction.
“This is another amazing milestone for the team on this journey to the World Cup, another record for the country and further objective confirmation that we are heading in the right direction,” said Stajcic.
The Filipinas welcomed the year with their first-ever competition in Europe at the 2023 Pinatar Cup in Spain, where they ended up winless but were able to catch invaluable lessons in the tournament.
“It is a historic achievement that underlines the importance of collaboration between the PFF, team management and coaching staff, and the dedication, discipline, and sacrifice of the players,” said the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) on the development.
The Filipinas are currently gearing up for the first round of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in April, where they will face Hong Kong, Tajikistan, and Pakistan.
Winning the tournament would put them one step closer to their ultimate goal of reaching the Olympics.
In Asia, the Philippines are now ranked 9th and are 5th in Southeast Asia. The team’s recent rise in the rankings is a result of their belief, professionalism, structure, organization, technical knowledge, and commitment, according to the PFF.
“We hope that the rest of the country, especially the sporting youth, takes inspiration from the Filipinas and their achievements,” added the PFF.
The Filipinas are not just looking to make up the numbers in their maiden World Cup campaign.
They are determined to make an impact and showcase the talent and potential of women’s football in the Philippines.
During a media roundtable discussing her partnership with digital payments giant Visa, goalkeeper Inna Palacios shared the team’s winning mentality. “Our focus is on winning every moment,” she said, “because we are always striving to be better.”
Palacios went on to explain the team’s mission for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games, which is to build upon their previous success and improve upon the bronze medal they earned in Vietnam. While proud of their accomplishment, the team is determined to push themselves further and see just how far they can go together.
The 32nd Southeast Asian Games football tournament will be a tough field to crack as they will face tough competition from other regional powerhouses.
Winning the gold medal would be a huge boost for their confidence and a fitting tribute to their World Cup-bound campaign.
The Filipinas have come a long way in their football journey, and their rise in the rankings only highlights their progress and potential.
As they continue to prepare for their biggest challenge yet, they are hoping to inspire a new generation of footballers and make their mark on the global stage.