The New Zealand men’s national football team represents New Zealand in international men’s football competitions. The team is governed by the governing body for football in New Zealand, New Zealand Football (NZF), which is currently a member of FIFA and the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC). The team’s official nickname is the All Whites. New Zealand is a five-time OFC champion. New Zealand Football History.

CountryNew Zealand
YearAll Years

FIFA World Cup

The team represented New Zealand in the FIFA World Cup tournaments in 1982 and 2010 and the FIFA Confederations Cup tournaments in 1999, 2003, 2009, and 2017. Because most football clubs in New Zealand are semi-professional rather than fully professional, most football clubs in New Zealand are fully professional.

Soccer players play for clubs in English-speaking countries such as England, the United States, and Australia. However, there are also New Zealand footballers who now play for clubs in European leagues such as Italy, Denmark, and Turkey.

New Zealand Play 1st International match

New Zealand’s first international football match was played on 23 July 1904 against a team representing New South Wales at the Old Caledonian Ground in Dunedin. And New Zealand lost the game by the only goal but drew 3–3 with the same team seven days later at Athletic Park, Wellington.

The following year the team played a representative team in Wellington on 10 June before embarking on a tour of Australia, during which they played eleven representative teams, including three “test matches” against New South Wales. Out of these three matches, one won, one lost and one drew.

New Zealand National Team

The New Zealand national team did not play again until 1922, when New Zealand played three official full internationals against Australia, played at Carysbrook in Dunedin, Athletic Park in Wellington, and Auckland Domain. The results were two 3-1 wins for New Zealand and a 1-1 draw in Wellington. In 1927, Canada became the second team to play in New Zealand as they played in four official matches with one win and one draw.

New Zealand would become one of the founding members of the Oceania Football Confederation in 1966, based on a federation between Charlie Dempsey and his Australian teammate Jim Beauty.

Main History

The All Whites qualified for the 1982 FIFA World Cup, losing all three of their games by multiple goals. Of the 22-man squad, 11 members were born in the UK, including seven from England alone. This included captain Steve Sumner and striker Steve Wooden, both of whom had played club football in England before emigrating. However, the composition of the national squad changed over the following decades, and “the face of football increasingly became Kiwi”.

Since the 1990s, United States college football has played a significant role in the development of New Zealand players. This influence began when former Scotland international Bobby Clarke returned to the US. After a head coaching job at Stanford University as New Zealand’s head coach from 1994–96. Clarke began recruiting in New Zealand. And former New Zealand internationals Ryan Nelson and Simon Elliott played for him at Stanford. The trend that Clark started continues to this day.

2010 FIFA World Cup

New Zealand’s 2010 FIFA World Cup squad could have more MLS players than the US squad. However, Latham’s speculation proved untrue, as only one MLS player made New Zealand’s World Cup squad. New Zealand previously competed against Australia for top honors in the OFC. However, after Australia joined the AFC in 2006, New Zealand remained the only seeded team in the OFC.

New Zealand qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup despite being the only team not to lose a game during the tournament. But was eliminated after the first round as they drew 0–0 against defending champions Italy, Slovakia, and Paraguay. 0-0 draw champions Spain lost to Switzerland. New Zealand notably finished above Italy in their group as Italy lost their final group match to Slovakia. And finished with two points to New Zealand’s three.

In 2014

In August 2014, Anthony Hudson was appointed manager of the All Whites. Hudson’s first game in charge of the national team was a 3-1 defeat by Uzbekistan in September 2014. As a result, the All Whites played “just three matches” last year, which was “the fewest of any country in the world”. Football, and “seven months without a match” dropped the All Whites to 161 in FIFA’s world rankings.

The All Whites went on to win the 2016 OFC Nations Cup, winning four matches. And won the final via a penalty shootout after a 0–0 draw against Papua New Guinea, conceding only 1 goal, in the process, from penalties. New Zealand’s win crowned them Oceania champions making New Zealand the most successful national team in the competition’s history. Winning the tournament five times, and saw them qualify for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.

The All Whites climbed 54 places in the world rankings in July to 88th in the FIFA World Rankings. Their highest ranking in three years, after winning the OFC Nations Cup. Which qualified them for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. New Zealand Football History.

2017 FIFA Confederations

After a disappointing tournament at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Where they finished bottom of their group consisting of Russia, Mexico, and Portugal. The national team fell 27 places to 122nd. In September 2017, New Zealand won the OFC final against the Solomon Islands with an 8–3 aggregate score to qualify for the intercontinental play-off qualifier. Against fifth-placed nation Peru in the South American qualifiers. New Zealand Football History.

After stopping Peru in the first leg, they would go on to exit the competition with a 2-0 loss in the second leg. As Peru became the last team to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. For more details click here