Argentina, France take FIFA ranking honours; India at 135

Lionel Messi's beaten Copa America finalist Argentina finished on top of FIFA's world rankings while France, defeated in the EURO 2016 final, was named 'mover of the year'.

Argentina FIFA Lionel Messi

Messi's Argentina finished on top of the FIFA rankings table.   -  AP

Despite not playing a single match, India has moved two places to be ranked 135th in the end-of-year FIFA world rankings.

National Coach Stephen Constantine attributed the upsurge to all his Players and the staff.

“It can’t be achieved without the help of the Players. We have an exceptional batch of Players as we are in the process of building the team for the future,” Constantine said.

But Constantine wasn’t much willing to go overboard with the new rankings. “One of my priorities was to improve the National Team ranking when I took over. The results do state that we have improved but there’s still a lot more to achieve,” he added.

“Football results are always determined by the support which one receives off the field. I am grateful both to Mr. Patel (AIFF President Mr. Praful Patel) and Mr. Das (AIFF General Secretary Mr. Kushal Das) for allowing me to do the things the manner I wanted to do. Both of them envisage a long term plan for Indian Football and it’s a total team effort,” he maintained.

“There have been so many positives for us in 2016. Right from the National Team winning the SAFF Championship to the Women’s Team winning the SAG Gold to the National Team beating a team as high as Puerto Rico 4-1 (ranked 114 at that time) in an International Friendly, things are looking bright, The developments off the field saw us win the 2016 AFC Award for the Best Developing Member Association and we also had Uvena Fernandes, the first even Indian referee to officiate a World Cup final match. And off course we need to remember that we had an Indian Club in the AFC Cup final for the first time ever and one of our youth development product becoming the first Indian player to play in the Europa League,” he added.

Argentina remains on top

Lionel Messi's beaten Copa America finalist Argentina finished on top of FIFA's world rankings while France, defeated in the EURO 2016 final, was named 'mover of the year'.

Argentina finished 2016 out in front of arch rival Brazil to inherit the 'team of the year' title from Belgium, displaced from the FIFA summit by the Edgardo Bauza-coached Albiceleste in April.

In all the Argentinians won 10 of their 15 games, with one of their three losses coming in the continental showpiece on penalties to Chile in June.

France too lost its own continental showpiece in extra time to Portugal on home soil but was named mover of the year after gaining the most ranking points with 13 wins out of 17 games.

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