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Soccer is the most popular sport worldwide and is widely played by plenty of different countries. With that, we often see plenty of different national teams of different countries competing for the grandest prize in international competitions.
But we also see teams playing against one another in games that are called international friendly soccer matches. So, what exactly are these international-friendly soccer matches?
International friendly soccer matches are games played by national teams without anything at stake. They are simply technically just friendly matches played for no reason except for the pride and dignity of those two teams, and to try players and blend team.
While international friendly soccer matches don’t really sound like they have a purpose, it still is great for overall competition especially when you consider that there is a lot of pride at stake here.
But let’s get to know more about what an international friendly soccer match is.
What is a friendly game in soccer?
Friendly games in soccer are widely known as soccer friendlies. These games don’t really mean a lot in terms of overall standing and in terms of what the wins and the losses mean for those teams when it comes to their rank in whatever kind of competitive playing field they may be.
However, soccer friendlies do have a purpose as far as the teams participating in them are concerned.
That’s because it is during soccer friendlies that they are able to test out how well they have trained during the offseason and how well integrated their players are into the system.
This is also where they are able to test out and field new players and maybe even pay respect to legendary players who are about to leave the game for good.
Soccer friendlies usually take place during the offseason and can be played between one team in a top-level division or league and another team from the same competitive playing field, from a lower division, or from an entirely different league or country altogether.
This is a good way for a team to be able to see entirely different opponents and players and for the players to be able to get back into playing shape after a long time of taking a break.
What is an international-friendly soccer match?
An international friendly soccer match is an exalted version of a soccer friendly.
They are technically the same as the usual friendlies because of how they are played with nothing on the line and because of how these games are often played for different reasons other than increasing their respective rankings.
However, the main difference when it comes to international friendly soccer matches is that these are games played by the national teams of the two countries.
International friendlies can be played with or without getting sanctioned by FIFA.
But, if the two teams want FIFA to sanction them, they have to play the friendly game with their national team and not just any other national team.
In short, they have to send out THE national team, which is the same team they will send in any other international competition such as the World Cup.
If they would field any other team, FIFA would immediately waive the grade A status they have given to the international friendly soccer match.
As such, the game would become a simple exhibition match between the two national teams taking part in them.
Do international friendlies matter?
Normally, international friendlies do not really matter a lot as far as the two national teams are concerned.
In most cases, international friendlies are played for the purpose of the different nations testing out their teams against any other international team as they want to see where they stand in terms of how well-trained their players are and how well-accustomed they are to the system they are running.
However, there are also some cases wherein international friendlies are played for other purposes.
This can be done for the sake of earning funds or for charity especially when the game is earning a lot of attention from the media and the fans alike.
In most cases, international friendlies don’t matter a lot except for the fact that it does improve the overall morale and confidence of the winning team especially if it won against a higher-ranked team or another strong national squad.
Still, pride is also on the line when it comes to these teams. Any match played by two different national squads will always have pride and dignity on the line regardless of whether or not they have other implications in terms of rankings.
But really, friendlies don’t matter a lot except for the coaches and players that are participating in them.
This is where they get to see and experiment with new things and test out new strategies before they field their national teams in an actual FIFA-sanctioned international competition.
Do international friendly matches count in FIFA rankings?
But if the game acquires the grade A status from FIFA especially when it is sanctioned by the governing body, there are some implications because the winning team does get a number of points from the game but the multiplier tends to be too small to the point that it won’t matter a lot as opposed to the multiplier in a qualifying match.
Also, if a high-ranking team plays a team of a lower rank, there is also a chance that the high-ranking team falls in terms of rankings even if it does end up winning the match.
And when a bad team plays a strong team and manages to win against it, it becomes a boon to them because they will be awarded a lot of points as compared to if the strong team managed to win against the bad team.
But if a high-ranking team such as England plays another strong team like Germany, it will be taken a lot more seriously than most other international friendly matches because of how the FIFA rankings are affected by what happens in the game.