India jump three places to 99th in latest FIFA Rankings
What's the story?
The meteoric rise of Indian football over the past few years has been quite evident and this fact was given more life when FIFA's world rankings saw India jump to the 99th place, a three-spot jump from last month's ranking of 102. India gained six points in the latest rankings which saw them garner a total of 339 points.
In case you didn't know
The Indian team, under the tutelage of head coach Stephen Constantine, has done extremely well in the recent past with big wins in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, assuring them a spot in the mega championship next year.
India's best ranking was in 1996 when the team climbed up to the 94th spot. Last year's exploits saw the Blue Tigers reach the 96th spot in the rankings. This was the first time in over two decades that India broke into the top 100 spots.
The heart of the matter
In recent times, lucrative leagues such as the Indian Super League, I-League amongst others have only served as platforms for the rise of Indian football. The Indian Super League, in particular, has been responsible for unearthing some of the best football talents in the country.
While India are at 99th, Libya also occupy the same spot. Sierra Leone are placed above India with 360 points. Qatar also gained two spots to be at 101 while Georgia and Oman slipped down.
On the international rankings front, there were no major surprises with Germany, Brazil and Portugal claiming the top three spots. Poland climbed up one spot loss to be ranked sixth alongside Spain.
At the culmination of the Indian Super League and the I-League, the focus will shift to the national camp in light of the upcoming 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against the Kyrgyz Republic on March 27th. However, this match will essentially be a dead rubber, as India have already qualified for the Asian Cup.
India's consistent rise over the past few years can easily be attributed to the positive brand of football exhibited on the field, while some of the credit should undoubtedly be credited to head coach Stephen Constantine, who has formed a formidable team fabulously well over time.