15 big things about New Zealand football
The first fifteen interesting things you probably don't need to know about New Zealand 'football'.
Photo is of Samantha Powell, former Miss New Zealand and partner of All White midfielder Tony Lochhead.
1982 was our first World Cup, this is our second
This is the second time the All Whites have qualified for the World Cup. The first was in 1982, when unluckily they were drawn in that tournament's group of death. They were pitted against the might Brazil (probably the best Brazillian team not to win the World Cup), the Soviets and Scotland.
To qualify New Zealand, played 15 fixtures across a number of continents. In playing all their matches they travelled a record number of miles. Games included a 13-0 thrashing of Fiji, at the time a world record for goals scored in a qualifier
The All Whites completed an incredulous 5-0 win away from home with the Saudis. The team needed to win by six goals to finish second in their group and gain automatic entry to Spain (along with Kuwait). They managed five goals in the first half but couldn't find that elusive winner.
This meant they had to travel to Singapore to beat China in a play-off.
The team was largely made up of amateurs. The coach and his assistant were poms. John Adshead, the coach once said his team would struggle to win games in the old English Division Three league.
Best Kiwi Wag
A former Miss New Zealand, Samantha Powell is partnered with All White midfielder Tony Lochhead.
Not certain who else is in this competition?
We won the World Cup for Germany
History shows that we have often fought against the Germans. However in 2000, Charlie Dempsey (the New Zealand based Oceania representative of FIFA) famously abstained from voting for a host nation for the 2006 World Cup; thus gifting the Germans the hosting rights over South Africa.
Mr Dempsey is pictured above with Sepp Blatter. Charlie spoke with a very thick Scottish accent, so most observers probably blamed Scotland for the controversial abstention.
In 1982, Kiwi keeper Richard Wilson played all 13 qualifying fixtures for the All Whites. At the time, Wilson held the goalkeeping record for most minutes played without conceding a goal in any FIFA World Cup qualifying or finals tournament. His record of 921 goal-less minutes was broken by a controversial Kiwi penalty.
However in Spain the custodial duties were passed to Frank van Hattum. Although both were considered highly competent goalkeepers, John Adshead's change in loyalties is still considered baffling.
Currently Mark Paston is the All White's first choice goalie. This is mainly due to Glen Moss needing to serve a four game ban for dissent of a match official in a dead rubber qualification match against Fiji. Moss's ban finishes after the All Whites play Italy.
Rebecca Loos is the Dutch model, singer and socialite most famous for becoming David Beckham's best friend when he first moved to Madrid. In 2007 she dated Kiwi sportsman Matthew Ridge, after they met while fiming the television reality show 'Treasure Island: Pirates of the Pacific' .
Ridge played both Rugby Union and Rugby League for New Zealand, he did play soccer in his primary school days. Given his record in other sports he might have become an All White.
New Zealand is a rugby playing nation. We are the land of the long white oval ball.
Although we do not have much pedigree in playing football, we hold extensive experience in playing sport in Africa. We've been playing over there for generations. We understand altitude and playing under rarified conditions.
The All Blacks toured Aparthed South Africa in 1976. This resulted in Afrcan nations boycotting the Montreal Olympics.
This was good news for our 1500 metre runner John Walker, who went on to win gold in this event. John's main competition for gold was expected to come from the absent Kenyans.
We're in the Oceania qualifying group, Australia qualifies in Asia
Australia has been part of the Asian qualifying group since 2007; thus making it a lot easier for New Zealand teams to enter different global tournaments.
Qualification for New Zealand now requires wins over Pacific nations as Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.And victory in a play-off game.
We've also enjoyed entry to the Confederations Cup, a number of age grade tournaments and the FIFA club competition. All of these have brought vital cash into the Kiwi game.
Rugby World Cup
Despite being a dominat force in world rugby, the All Blacks have only once won the RWC. Our victory came in the first tournament in 1987, where we hosted the final. Since we've only made the final, one other time. We lost to the Springboks (South Africa) in 1995. Our loss was put down to a number of All Blacks contracting food poisoning.
Georgia was our first European scalp
May 27, 2006 In defeating Georgia 3-1 New Zealand achieved their first full international win against a European nation on European soil. Some of you may argue that Georgia isn't really a part of Europe. That's ok, as the game was played at Altenkirchen in Germany.
If you're still not convinced, the All Whites beat the Serbs (played in Austria) recently as part of their preparation for this World Cup.
As part of their build-up for last year's Confederations Cup the All Whites went down to the Italians 4-3. At one point during the game the All Whites were ahead 3-1. It's been reported that in this campaign, Lippi has paid more attention to detail in preparing for the clash with the Kiwis.
1981 World Cup Qualifiers
In 1981 the South African rugby team toured New Zealand. A large minority of New Zealanders opposed the visit from the players of an Apartheid nation. This resulted in a large number of ugly protests. Every Saturday was a bloody Saturday. In the final test, flour bombs dropped from a plane flying overhead fell and knocked out an All Black player.
The tour marred rugby's image in New Zealand. While this was happening the All Whites were succesfully mounting a challenge to qualify for Spain. Their campaign included a win and a draw over Australia.
Things did get heated when we hosted Kuwait, in the second phase of qualifying, The Indonesian referee awarded a dubious penalty against us. This resulted in a fan storming the pitch and throwing a can at the official.
Oceania Player of the Century
The Oceania Player of the Century is New Zealander, Wynton Rufer. Rufer was part of the team of 1982. He also played for notable clubs as FC Zurich, Grasshoppers, Werder Bremen, Kaiserlautern and the Football Kings.
Rufer pipped Frank Farina (Australia) and Christain Karembeu (originally from New Caledonia) for the award.
Black is the national colour of New Zealand's sports teams. Recently there was talk of New Zealand Football adopting the traditional black, but this never happened.
"White noise" is the nickname of the All White supporters. They're very much in cahorts with the yellow fever who are the fans of the Wellington Phoenix (New Zealand's only professional team). Both sets of fans probably represent the friendliest ultras in the game.
If you want to see them in action check out their barbecue video clip. Very much a Kiwi version of Fat Les' Vindaloo.
Terry Serepisos is very much the benefactor of New Zealand football. He dug deep into his own pocket to save professional football in NZ and moved our only professional team to Wellington.
It's believed Serepisos contributes $1 million per annum to the club. Sadly Terry's generosity has impacted on his ability to pay rates to the Wellington City Council.
Terry plays the role of Donald Trump in our version of the Apprentice.
When not funding his soccer club, avoiding Council levies and doing reality tv; Terry is a property developer.
The 1982 connection
All Whites coach Ricky Herbert was a playing member of 1982.
Rory Fallon, the scorer of the qualifying goal against Bahrain is the son of the 1982 Assistant Coach.
Rory is a popular member of the 2010 squad. He holds strong beliefs in his team (amongst other things.
He was recently quoted as saying: "I believe in Jesus Christ, my faith comes through him. I just know that something great is going to happen, all the boys know something special is going to happen."
A fairly tenuous link between Kerryn and New Zealand's world cup efforts. She did represent New Zealand in lad mag FHM's girl of the world comp. Kerryn beat the Spanish representative before being pipped by Hungary's entry.
Beyond that Kerryn was part of the Kiwi duo that broke the world record for most human bench presses in one minute: