Yes, the wait of weeks has finally borne fruit for Indian football as the India national football team has climbed up several spots to be ranked 101 in the latest FIFA rankings, released Thursday April 6. And yes, Brazil is back at the No 1 spot after as many as seven years.
Just a 100-point gap now between India and the mighty Brazil in the FIFA rankings. Just some months ago, that gap was way more than 150. How times change!
To be ranked 101 in the world comes as a major ray of hope for Indian football to move onwards and upwards. That too, with the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India taking place this October. India climbed as many as 31 places to record their best ever FIFA ranking this decade.
In other records, India's prolific striker in recent years, Sunil Chhetri, joined the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in an elite list. As of April 6 2017, the Bengaluru FC hotshot has 53 goals for his country from 93 international caps in his career.
Here's his record: List of highest goalscorers for their national team (active players)
Question now is if being ranked #101 in the world, is India's best ever? Well, no.
The India national football team entered the top-100 mark for the first time in 1996 when they were ranked #94 in the world.
Timeline of INDIA'S FIFA RANKING over the years
#101: April 2017
#132: March 2017
#101: May 1996
#94: February 1996
#99: November 1993
#100: October 1993, December 1993, April 1996
India's upcoming international fixtures 2017 (AFC Asian Cup qualifiers)
|Date||Home Team||Away Team||Time||Venue|
|June 7 (friendly)||Lebanon||v||India||TBD||TBD|
|October 2 (friendly)||India||v||Palestine||TBD||TBD|
|March 27 2018||Kyrgyzstan||v||India||TBD||TBD|