The Indian national football team achieved its best FIFA ranking since February 1996 as they were placed at No.96 in the latest rankings released on Thursday. In the process, India are currently 12th in Asian Football Confederation (AFC).India’s best ever FIFA ranking till date stays 94 which was attained in February 1996.Indian football and the national team have been on an upsurge with a string of good results leading to a climb of 77 places in the rankings over the last two years. The team has won 13 of their last 15 matches and are unbeaten in the last eight, including the unofficial match against Bhutan. Constantine stated: “When I took over, I had mentioned that my target was to bring India below 100. I am happy to have played a small part in this process. Kudos to the boys, the staff and a big thank you to my colleagues in AIFF for supporting us all throughout. need to stay focused on the upcoming challenges.” As per the latest FIFA rankings updated on Thursday, India climbed four places to sit on the 96th position, the second highest ranking for the country ever.This is also India’s highest FIFA ranking under coach Stephen Constantine. The result was updated following India’s 2-0 win against Nepal in a friendly. They also emerged victorious against Kyrgyzstan in AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers group match last month.India is currently on 341 points, seven behind 95th placed Cyprus. The team has progressed brilliantly under Constantine, who started coaching the team when it was ranked 171st in the world. This is his second stint with India after taking charge. In an interview to PTI, Constantine had said last week that India will soon breach its historical best ranking of 94. “I am not very good at mathematics. But if we are 93, I would be the happiest man. That would be the historical highest. I am going to do it. I don’t know if it will be on July 6 (next FIFA ranking date) but I am going to do it. I don’t know if that (Kyrgyzstan win on June 13 in Asian Cup qualifiers) will push us that far but I hope to make history at the end of these qualifiers,” he had said.Defeating Kyrgyzstan in Bangalore has helped India to be on course to qualify for the Asian Cup in 2019. India’s next match is against Macau on September
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