Brazil leads unchanged top 20 Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings

Indian football team

Indian football team

The latest edition of the FIFA World Rankings is out with Brazil staying at the top of the largely unchanged table and Iran retaining their 28th spot as Asia's highest-ranked nation.

During the Official Emblem unveiling of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, FIFA President Gianni Infantino called India the "passionate giant" of world football.

India's meteoric rise in the rankings has been due to triumphs over Cambodia and Myanmar, both away wins. Head coach Stephen Constantine congratulated his side on the milestone, but warned them against complacency ahead of important matches.

One more victory against an global side - 4-1 win over South American opponent Puerto Rico - added another feather to India's cap.

India will next face Lebanon in an worldwide friendly on 7 June, ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying clash against Kyrgyzstan on 13 June.

The boost in their ranking came after they won 11 of their last 13 matches, including an unofficial match against Bhutan, scoring 31 goals in the process.

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South Africa's in 64th place in the world, a ranking that doesn't sound good when you consider that we're alongside the likes of Israel and Haiti.

All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary Kushal Das said rankings are at times a "mathematical game" and the team needs to improve in their minds and keep on winning games. It's definitely important as it helps us play better opponents in friendlies.

"As long as we keep heading up the ladder, I am happy".

The first 20 places remained unchanged from the previous month as Germany, Chile and Colombia rounded out the top five. The South Americans had surged to the top spot for the first time in seven years last month at the expense of great rivals Argentina.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

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