Chhetri ‘very happy’ at India’s ranking-spot gain

“On a personal note, the joy is a little more given this is the highest ranking we’ve achieved during my time playing for the nation,” India’s captain has said.

Sunil Chhetri... “Rankings are a very fickle measurement of one’s success.”   -  K. Murali Kumar

Sunil Chhetri has expressed his delight at India's rise to 101 in the latest FIFA world rankings announced on Thursday, up from 132 a month ago. India's wins over Cambodia (friendly) and Myanmar (Asian qualifier) over the last fortnight catapulted it up the table, helping it leapfrog the likes of Iraq, Oman and Jordan. This is India's best FIFA ranking since May 1996, when it achieved a high of 94.

“‘Very happy’ is the simplest but most honest way to describe how I feel,” said Chhetri. “On a personal note, the joy is a little more given this is the highest ranking we’ve achieved during my time playing for the nation. This change in ranking also pushes us up on the Asian circuit and working our way up further will give us favourable draws when lots are drawn in continental competitions. That said, our biggest task at the moment is to make it out of the qualifiers of the AFC Asian Cup.”

The Indian captain sounded a note of caution, however. “In my opinion, rankings are a very fickle measurement of one's success and it is best to not get carried away by it. You lose one game, you slide down 40 places, you win one, and you climb up 50. The real achievement will be when we cling on to this position or better it over the next three to four years.”

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