Kolkata: It’s time to celebrate for all soccer crazy fans of the country. As per the latest FIFA rankings released today, India is placed at 101 a big jump from its last ranking of 132 in March this year. Brazil has made a comeback to the top position after a gap of seven years. This is India’s best performance since May, 1996, when it held the same position. Thanks to the jump, India is also placed at 11 in terms of rankings of Asian teams.
For Indian football, this couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. Indian coach Stephen Constantine’s team has been on a roll of late winning matches on the trot. The victories against Myanmar and Cambodia in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers and a friendly respectively, have not only boosted up India’s morale, but have also pushed it up the rankings.
An elated Constantine was quoted as saying, “It has been a difficult road. Bringing in new blood and creating competition for places in the Team has been a process, and I’m pleased we are moving in the right direction.”
Added Praful Patel, the President of the All India Football Federation, “This is a great achievement and a fruitful reward for the hard work displayed by the team and the support staff on a regular basis. We at AIFF look forward to support the team and the coach in their endeavors to ensure sustained growth of Indian Football.”
Yet, there is no room for any complacency and India should capitalise on this achievement to aim at higher goals. Let us not forget that in a country with a population of 125 crore, we are still to make it to the top 100 in the world, which is a dismal story. There are many more mountains to climb.
Meanwhile Brazil’s ascendancy will bring smiles on the faces of fans all over the world. Handsome victories against Uruguay and Paraguay and qualifying for the World Cup finals to be held in Russia next year have catapulted it to the Number One position followed by Argentina, Germany, Chilie and Colombia in the top Five.
(With inputs from News18.com)