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Indian football team’s jump in FIFA rankings no fluke, says Subrata Paul

India are bracing up to face Macau in a crucial 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifier and Subrata Paul believes that the visitors will be the favourites.

football Updated: Sep 03, 2017 16:58 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Macau
Indian football team,FIFA rankings,Subrata Paul
India will look to take another step closer to 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification with a win over Macau on Tuesday.(AFP)

India goalkeeper Subrata Paul says the national team’s rise to 96 in FIFA rankings has not happened by fluke.

India are bracing up to face Macau in a crucial 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on September 5 and, under Stephen Constantine, seem confident of getting the work done.

India have won nine international matches, including an unofficial game against Bhutan, on the trot.

READ | Stephen Constantine’s India cautious but confident ahead of Macau clash

“He (Constantine) has been in charge for almost 30 months now and if you look back at the journey, as far as FIFA rankings are concerned he has delivered what no other coach in India has been able to achieve so far. No coach has been able to make us win nine on the trot; no coach has been able to take us from 173 to 96 in the FIFA rankings. And none happened by fluke,” Paul said.

Praising the chief coach, who is in his second stint with the team, Paul said Constantine is leading a revolution.

READ | India squad for Asian Cup qualifier vs Macau named, includes six U-23 players

“You can never win nine at a stretch by fluke, you can never jump 77 places in FIFA rankings by fluke. We have achieved all of that under Constantine. Even as I need to mention the efforts put in by all the support staff, the coach will always get the lion’s share of the credit, and rightly.

“Moreover, he has debuted 35 youngsters so far, many of whom will hold the fort for the national team for the next few years. In that sense, he has already created the supply line. He has brought in a revolution, a total change in Indian football,” Paul said.

First Published: Sep 03, 2017 16:00 IST