The Blue Tigers are currently in the 19th position among AFC nations.

After a superb display by the Indian National Football Team in the recently concluded AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers, the nation has jumped up two spots to 104 in the FIFA Rankings. Brazil, Belgium, and Argentina form the top 3 of the rankings published by FIFA on Thursday.

Among other Asian Football Confederation (AFC) nations, India remains at the 19th position.

In the FIFA rankings, India are below New Zealand, who are 103rd. The Kiwis failed to secure qualification for the 2022 World Cup recently, losing to Costa Rica in an inter-continental playoff.

Igor Stimac’s men were in a group with Cambodia, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong to secure Asian qualifications. India defeated Cambodia 2-0 in the opener with a Sunil Chhetri brace. Chhetri would go on to score in both the remaining games, which ended 2-1 and 4-0 respectively. The Indian skipper now has 84 goals, just two behind Lionel Messi in the international top scorer’s list.

This is the first time that the National Team has qualified for successive Asian Cups. The showpiece event will take place in 2023, in what can be Chhetri’s last major tournament for the Blue Tigers. The hosts are yet to be decided after China pulled out due to COVID restrictions.

The last time that India entered the top 100 in the FIFA rankings was in 2018 under Stephen Constantine.

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