Breaking Records: Sunil Chhetri Leads India to FIFA Ranking of 99, First Time Since 2018

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The Indian team recently won the SAFF Championship by beating Kuwait in a penalty shoot-out. India are ranked 99th in the latest FIFA rankings. This is the first time since 2018 that India have entered the sub-100 region.

India Achieves Sub-100 FIFA Ranking (99th) for the First Time Since 2018. (Photo: PTI)

In recent times, the Indian football team, under the leadership of Sunil Chhetri, has been making remarkable progress in the international arena. Climbing up the FIFA rankings, they have achieved the commendable feat of entering the sub-100 region for the first time since 2018. From ranking 106 in March 2023 to now securing the 99th position, India’s rise in the football world is evident.

Their success can be attributed to improved fitness and extended training time ahead of events like the Asian Cup. Notably, their victory in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship showcased their attacking style of play, capitalizing on the strengths of players like Lallianzuala Chhangte and Sahal Abdul Samad.

Sunil Chhetri’s pivotal role in the team’s achievements cannot be understated. As the highest goal-scorer in the history of the Indian national team, with 85 goals in 133 matches, he is a true icon of Indian football. Chhetri’s contribution has been instrumental in India’s rise in the FIFA rankings.

However, the team’s journey hasn’t always been smooth, as they faced a low point in 2015 when they were ranked 173rd. Nevertheless, their resilience and determination paid off, and they managed to bounce back, reaching the third round of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

While the Indian football team is yet to make an appearance in a men’s or women’s World Cup, their recent performances indicate a promising future. The team’s head coach, Igor Stimac, has requested the Indian government to allow the team to participate in the Asian Games 2023, emphasizing the benefits such exposure would bring to the squad. The team’s progress serves as a testament to their dedication and potential for further success on the international stage.

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Toshika Chauhan

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