NI opponents New Zealand are biggest climbers in FIFA World rankings

Northern Ireland take on New Zealand at Windsor Park on Friday night
Northern Ireland take on New Zealand at Windsor Park on Friday night

Northern Ireland opponents New Zealand enjoyed the biggest jump of any team in the FIFA World rankings.

Northern Ireland welcome the All Whites to Windsor Park tomorrow night with Anthony Hudson's men riding the crest of a wave having leapt 17 places to 95th in the world.

They climb comes on the back of brilliant displays against USA and Mexico last year and reaching the final stage of OFC Qualifying for next year's World Cup in Russia.

Hudson told the NZ football website: "This is great news for our team as we get ready to take on the world’s best at the Confederations Cup

“I think it is important to note that we don’t play as often as many of our rivals so this is a really good achievement from our team. We have long believed that we are better than our ranking suggests and we have a great chance to prove that over the next month at the Confederations Cup. Our goal in Russia is to make New Zealand proud and if we achieve that then I am sure we will continue to climb in the World Rankings.”

Earlier this year, Northern Ireland moved up nine places to joint 26th in Fifa's world rankings, level with Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland.

Northern Ireland v New Zealand. Friday, June 2. 19:45 ko.

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