The Indian football team achieved its best FIFA ranking in over a decade as the side climbed to 129th in the latest list released on Thursday. The Indian team has jumped 42 places in less than two years. Last year was very fruitful for India as they won nine of their last 11 International matches. A win against Peurto Rico, a side ranked 114th ranked, in an International Friendly in Mumbai in September was the highlight of the year.
National coach Stephen Constantine said it was a “total team effort” that India achieved their best ever ranking since December 2005, which was 127th. “I think we have had a really good couple of years during my time and while results have been mixed, we have achieved what we said we would. Our ranking is at its highest since 2005 which is obviously great for Indian football. There is, however, a very long way to go where I intend to take Indian football to, but I can say that we have begun our journey,” said Constantine.
India were ranked 171 when Constantine took over as national coach for the second time in February 2015 and slipped further to 173th in March 2015 in the FIFA ladder even before Constantine could have his first game in-charge against Nepal, which India eventually won 2-0 on aggregate. The year-end of 2016 saw the Indian team jump to 135th in the world making it their six-year highest annual ranking since 2009.