About the New Zealand National team
The New Zealand National team is comprised of players of international accolades. The team is regulated under the New Zealand Football (NZF), which is the body that controls football in the country. NZF is one of the members of the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). They have been named champions of the OFC five times.
Most people know the New Zealand National team by the nickname “All Whites” because they all wear white kits, including their referee. The team has represented New Zealand in the FIFA World Cup games of 1982 and 2010. In 1999, 2003 and 2017, the team took part in the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament. Their players play for several other international teams and are popular within their own rights.
History of the New Zealand National team
The New Zealand National team traces his history back to the early 1900s. Even though young people would rather watch a movie now, back then, football was one of the most popular games in the world and young people flocked to stadiums to watch. The first game the New Zealand National team played was in 1904 against a team from Wales.
It took several years before they went back to the field, and it was in 1921 that they had a playoff with Australia. From then on, they played more consistently and became a household name in New Zealand.
FIFA World Cup qualification
When Anthony Hudson was appointed as manager of the New Zealand National team in 2014, they dropped to position 161 in the FIFA ranking. They redeemed themselves in 2016 by winning the OFC Cup, by scoring one goal against Papua New Guinea in a tense penalty shoot out moment. They became the Oceania Champions and earned the title of being the most successful team in the history of the game for winning it five times. They qualified for the 2017 FIFA Confederation Cup in Russia. They also moved up to 88th position in FIFA’s world rankings.
They, however, did not perform so well in their group, where they had been placed with Mexico, Russia and Portugal.
The main rivals who battle it out with New Zealand’s National team is Trans-Tasman from Australia. Their rivalry can be traced back to 1922 when they had their first international match. When they were both fighting it out in the OFC National Cup, where they are both members, their rivalry became even more intense. Since 2006, when Australia stopped being a member of the OFC and shifted to the AFC, they have not had a lot of competition. They are, however, still rivals and whenever they meet for a face-off, it receives huge media attention as both of them are strong teams.
New Zealand National team players
Most of the players who are in the New Zealand National Football team also play for other international leagues, such as teams that feature in the English Premier League. Players like Sarpreet Singh (Wellington Phoenix) and Cameron Howieson (Auckland City) have done well in representing their country in major international matches and, at the same time, played for their respective teams outside the country. Other players, such as Sam Brotherton who plays for North Carolina FC in America, have not let being in another continent affect their loyalty and patriotism when they are called upon to play for the New Zealand National team.