Currently, the Indian national football team is ranked 148th in the world, and even at the Asia level, the country lies in the bottom-half. If countries such as Nigeria, Costa Rica, etc. can play at the World Cup, why can’t a nation that has a population of almost 1.3 billion make it?
Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Honduras and Columbia are so economically backward that they have to seek football employment in foreign lands, including India. India seems to find exceptional players from abroad, whereas the best players of the country are mediocre at best.
Also read: 5 lesser known footballers of Indian origin
What seems surprising is that there are so many brilliant Indian-origin players playing in some of Europe's top leagues, and yet they cannot feature for India. Earlier, Indian national team coach Stephen Constantine had spoken of the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) policy regarding the ineligibility of Indian origin players residing outside India to represent the country.
Imagine what a team we could have had if the players from Europe's top clubs would have been playing for the nation. We might have even qualified for the World Cup, a dream that eludes us till date.
Here is an India-origin XI comprising of top players around the world:
Varshant Ramdhani, the 23-year-old Dutch international who has Indian roots, would be the goalkeeper of this team. The youngster currently plays for Almere City FC, a club which plays in Holland's Eerste Divisie. The club is partnered by the famous Dutch club AFC Ajax. Ramdhani even featured as the goalkeeper for the junior side of Ajax back in 2008.