Bengaluru, April 6 (IANS) Bengaluru FC star striker Sunil Chhetri on Thursday said consistency is not just a fillip in FIFA rankings, which is what Indian football will be seeking for the next few years.
India on Thursday achieved their best-ever ranking of 101 in over two decades leaving behind Euro 2004 participants Latvia and Asian heavyweights DPR Korea.
“In my opinion, rankings are a very fickle measurement of one’s success and it is best to not get carried away by it,” Chhetri said in a statement issued by his club Bengaluru FC.
“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.
“I’ve just had a look at the updated rankings put out by FIFA and ‘very happy’ is the simplest but most honest way to describe how I feel about India being placed at 101. This achievement belongs to the team, the team behind the team, the coaching staff, the media, the fans and most importantly, to the country,” the mercurial striker said.
Since Chhetri’s debut, this is the highest India have climbed in the FIFA ladder.
“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. But while we should celebrate every success, big or small, we also need to realize that the real test begins now,” Chhetri said.
“We will need to play more games with better opponents and keep performing well consistently at home and more importantly, away.
“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,” he added.
Chhetri signed off by saying that the team is moving in the right direction.
“Everything said, we are moving in the right direction and like I always say, it will take a mammoth effort from all of us involved with football to reach where we want to be,” Chhetri concluded.