History of the India National Football Team

History of the India National Football Team

Every country has their own national teams across pretty much every sport, be it physical sports or esports. India, of course, is no different and in this article, we’re talking about the India national football team! 


Whenever the World Cup season begins to loom closer, the interest in football slowly rises across the country. This could be because of the sense of national pride it instills, or it could also be because making match predictions is made all the more exciting when on a national scale.


In any case, it’s important to be familiar with the India national football team. Not only will it make watching matches more enjoyable, but it will also help you make smarter decisions when it comes to playing fantasy sports or engaging in sports betting. So let’s get to it!


History of the India National Football Team 

The India national football team is under the local jurisdiction of the All India Football Federation, and the regional jurisdiction of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). To their fans, they are known as the Blue Tigers – a nod to the country’s national animal and the dominant color of the national teams’ home kit uniforms. Their current head coach is Igor Stimac.


The team experienced their heyday back in the 1950s to 1960s. During the 1951 and 1962 Asian games in Delhi and Jakarta respectively, India won the gold medal under the watchful eye of their coach, Syed Abdul Rahim. Their trophy in 1951 was their first major win, and they certainly kept their momentum going. During the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, the India national football team became the first Asian team to score a hat-trick against the host country at the Olympics; their stellar performance even landed them in fourth place!


AFC Asian Cup and World Cup Performance

AFC Asian Cup

When it comes to the AFC Asian Cup, the India national football team qualified for the group rounds during the 2019 tournament, but was eliminated when they lost 2 out of the 3 round-robin matches in their group. In the current qualifiers for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, India is set to proceed to the third round! They’ll be up against 23 other teams to compete for the 11 remaining spots in the final Asian Cup tournament. So make sure you head on over to Oppabet and check out the SBOBET or Pinnacle providers for the best odds on betting!


FIFA World Cup

The first two rounds of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup also doubled as the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The India national football team has yet to participate in a World Cup tournament but given their impressive performance over recent years, it could very well be a possibility quite soon.


Let’s take a quick look at the current line-up of the India national football team, shall we?


India National Football Team: Current Line-up

1. Sunil Chhetri (forward, Bengaluru Football Club)

Chhetri is the team captain, and he has certainly left large shoes to fill as one of the most decorated players in modern history of the India national football team. With 126 caps and 80 goals, he has the highest numbers on the current squad.


2. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (goalkeeper, Bengaluru Football Club)

Gurpreet dons the vice-captain title, though he has captained the team many times as well. He is also the first and only Indian to not only play at the UEFA Europa League but also to captain a European club.


3. Amrinder Singh (goalkeeper, ATK Mohun Bagan FC)

Previously representing the nation in the Under 23 leagues, Amrinder made his senior national team debut in 2017.


4. Laximikanth Kattimani (goalkeeper, Hyderabad FC)

Kattimani was part of the U-23 national team that won the 2009 SAFF championship, and was also called up for international matches against Maldives and Qatar at the age of 22.


5. Subhasish Bose (defender, ATK Mohun Bagan FC)

Subhasish plays mostly left-back, but also in central defense. His first cap with the India national football team was against Chinese Taipei in 2018. 


6. Pritam Kotal (defender, ATK Mohun Bagan FC)

Kotal has been a member of the seniors team since 2015, when he was named emerging player of the year by the AIFF.


7. Sandesh Jhingan (defender, ATK Mohun Bagan FC)

Jhingan also debuted with the men’s senior national team in 2015, and has even been described by the Blue Tiger’ head coach as “his engine”.


8. Anwar Ali (defender, Delhi Football Club)

Anwar has been playing internationally since 2015, where he was part of the squad for the U-17 FIFA World Cup. He was first called up for the senior team in 2019 and made his debut in 2022 playing against Bahrain.


9. Akash Mishra (defender, Hyderabad FC)

Though Akash is a fairly new addition to the India national football team, he is no stranger to a professional career, having been part of the U-18 SAFF Championship team in 2019.


10. Harmanjot ingh Khabra (defender, Kerala Blasters Football Club)

In 2004 at the age of just 16, Khabra already began his international career as a player for the U16 squad, making his debut at the AFC U-17 Championship that same year. Since then he’s built a reputation based on his versatility on the field playing in the wing, central midfield, and full-back.


11. Rahul Bheke (defender, Mumbai City FC)

Bheke has had a decorated career so far, particularly as he scored the winning goal that nabbed India’s very first Hero ISL title – a goal that also won him the Man of the Match award!


12. Glans Martins (midfielder, FC Goa)

Martins has only very recently joined the India national football team (debuted in 2021), but he has certainly gained much experience across various clubs in the domestic leagues.


13. Anirudh Thapa (midfielder, Chennaiyin FC)

Thapa is touted as one of India’s most talented midfielders. That comes as no surprise as he has represented the nation across all age group, beginning with the U-16 squad!


14. Sahal Abdul Samad (midfielder, Kerala Blasters Football Club)

Prior to his professional career, Sahal played for his college – and that’s where he was scouted for the Kerala Blasters’ B team in 2018. Not long after, he debuted in the international scene as well.


15. Udanta Singh Kumam (midfielder, Bengaluru Football Club)

Udanta, alongside captain Chhetri, was instrumental in ending India’s 64-year streak of losses! His speed on the field has also earned him the nickname of “Flash”.


16. Brandon Fernandes (midfielder, FC Goa)

Brandon made his international debut in 2019 against Curacao, but his professional career started early, as he was part of the squad across various age groups even at the youth level.


17. Mohammed Yassir (midfielder, Hyderabad FC)

Yassir often plays in the left-wing but is also known to be a talented full-back. His skill has been tested with both local clubs he’s played for, as well as internationally in a 2021 match against Oman.


18. Thounaojam Jeakson Singh (midfielder, Kerala Blasters Football Club)

At just 21 years old, Jeakson is one of the youngest on the India national football team. While representing the national squad at the 2017 U-17 World Cup, Jeakson scored India’s first-ever World Cup goal!


19. Suresh Singh Wangjam (midfielder, Bengaluru Football Club)

Like many of his teammates, Suresh made his international debut against Oman in 2021. It was a great year for him as he also received the AIFF Emerging Player of the Year award.


20. Liston Colaco (midfielder, ATK Mohun Bagan FC)

Liston is one of the team’s playmakers, but is also very much able to play from the right. He’s often a top goalscorer amongst his squads, so his callup to the international team was almost expected!


21. Manvir Singh (forward, ATK Mohun Bagan FC)

Manvir is 5 years into his career representing the Indian nation, though his professional career began two years prior to that. Since then, he has added a Hero Super Cup and Hero ISL Premiers trophy to his name.


22. Ritwik Kumar Das (forward, Jamshedpur FC)

Ritwik is one of the most recent callups to the India national football team, officially making the line-up just this May 2022! 


23. Muhammed Ashique Kuruniyan (forward, Bengaluru Football Club0

Muhammed is strongest when he plays left-flank, although he is perfectly adept in various field positions. He was also instrumental in scoring India’s first goal in the continent after 55 years, at the AFC Asian Cup.


24. Naorem Roshan Singh (forward, Bengaluru Football Club)

Naorem is also one of the newer additions to the India national football team, debuting in two friendly matches against Bahrain and Belarus in 2022. 


25. Ishan Pandita (forward, Jamshedpur FC)

Ishan’s goal record is stunning: more than 80% of his goals occurred after the 75th minute of the match; thus, he has earned the nickname of “Super Sub”.


Now that you’re more familiar with the India national football team, you’ll be able to make more confident decisions when betting on odds and performance! Oppabet is the best online casino that allows you to place bets on whatever teams or sports you fancy. Check out Oppabet and sign up for an account today!

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