jeje, indian football
AIFF Media

India moved one position up to be ranked 100 by FIFA in the latest rankings released Thursday May 4. Stephen Constantine's side are sharing the ranking with Nicaragua, Lithuania and Estonia, who have also moved a point up.

This is however not the best-ever FIFA ranking for India as the Blue Tigers reached their best-ever FIFA ranking of 94, back in February 1996.

However, the sudden elevation in rankings, catapulting from #132 in March 2017 to #101 in April 2017 and now #100 in May 2017, only brings hope ahead.

Indian football team talisman Sunil Chhetri's now-viral social media post of "the real test begins now" definitely stands as a crucial message in the road ahead for India, which will be nothing but challenging. Firstly, they need to maintain their top 100 ranking and secondly, do the best in moving further up the ladder.

What lies ahead now?

The crucial AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers start next month and all eyes will be on India, who are being tipped to make it to the main tournament in UAE, two years from now.

As long as we keep heading up the ladder I am happy. It points out that we are heading in the right direction. There are major matches ahead and we cannot take things lightly. There's no place for complacency.

- Stephen Constantine.

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
June 13 India  v Kyrgyzstan TBD TBD
September 5 Macau v India TBD TBD
October 2 (friendly) India v Palestine TBD  TBD
October 10 India v Macau TBD TBD
November 14 India  v Myanmar TBD TBD
March 27 2018 Kyrgyzstan v India TBD TBD