India should push for for the top 10 spots in Asia, opines Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri completed 15 years of International football a few days ago|
Sunil Chhetri believes that the Indian team should push to break into the top 10 of the Asian rankings and to make it a reality, the youngsters have to step up. At the moment, the Blue Tigers are the 19th ranked side in Asia as per FIFA rankings above Thailand and overall the 108th in the world.
India featured in the AFC Asian Cup last year, in what was their first appearance since 2011, having crashed out in the group stages itself. In fact, Sunil Chhetri and Co. started the tournament on a high, scripting a 4-1 win over Thailand, but lost the next two matches only to find the exit beckoning. The Blue Tigers have produced good performances over the past few years, but they still haven't managed to establish themselves as a powerhouse in Asia. Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri feels that it is time India pushes hard to make a breakthrough into the top 10 of the Asian rankings and to make it a reality; the youngsters need to step up their game.
"At this stage in Indian football, you want the national team to push for the top 10 spots in Asia. For that to happen it is very important for these youngsters to come through the ranks and produce the results in the senior team," said Sunil Chhetri, during a live chat with AIFF TV.
The India U16 team led by former Indian footballer Bibiano Fernandes has been playing some exceptional football of late, with them qualifying for the quarter-finals of the 2018 AFC U16 Championships. The players, from the team which played in the 2017 U17 World Cup, have now taken huge strides and are knocking at the door of the Indian national team. Chhetri heaped praise on the young guns, saying that the confidence they have is ‘infectious.’
"You should look at the confidence that players like Amarjit (Singh), Suresh (Wangjam) and Narender (Gahlot) have, even though they are some of the youngest players in the senior team. That confidence is infectious, and that's what I want to see in the senior team," added India’s most capped international player.