Amidst a sea of talent, five players come to mind as the rising superstars in Indian football.
Get ready to meet some of the best and most impressive upcoming footballers in the Indian Super League (ISL)!
These five players are currently the talk of the town when it comes to the football scene in India.
The Rising Superstars in Indian Football
1. Brandon Fernandes – FC Goa
Brandon Fernandes is a standout performer for FC Goa in the ISL.
The 28-year-old has scored 5 goals across 46 matches for FC Goa.
But even more pertinently, he’s registered 18 assists in this duration.
Interestingly, only Hugo Boumous has more assists than Brandon in ISL history.
Moreover, Fernandes is the only player of Indian nationality in the top 5 assist-makers in ISL.
He has given trials at multiple foreign clubs in the past, but recently signed a contract extension at Goa. His new contract will keep him with the Gaurs till 2024.
2. Manvir Singh – ATK Mohun Bagan
After spending three seasons at FC Goa, Manvir Singh left in search of regular first-team minutes.
He has now joined ATK Mohun Bagan and already, he has impressed in his first season for the Mariners.
Manvir has scored 9 goals and secured 4 assists in his overall ISL career. Out of this tally, 6 goals and 3 assists came in the 2020-21 season alone.
So, it’s plain to see that he’s seen a resurgence in his performance. Singh has amped up his potential within one season, just when the Indian national team needs depth via a striker.
3. Sahal Abdul Samad – Kerala Blasters
Sahal Abdul Samad is the poster boy for Kerala Blasters’ now.
He has played as an attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder and winger at the Kochi-based club.
He is also a graceful dribbler with 1 goal and 5 assists to his name across 3 seasons.
For his efforts in the 2018-19 season under David James, the Malayali player received the ‘Emerging Player of the Year’ award from both the ISL and the AIFF.
4. Lalengmawia – NorthEast United
NorthEast United midfielder Lalengmawia, known as Apuia, became ISL’s youngest captain this season.
As captain, he led his club out onto the field in a 2020-21 league match.
Lalengmawia has been dominating NorthEast’s central midfield for the last two seasons and has been consistently delivering excellent displays.
He is highly rated by pundits and fans as a defensive midfielder.
He’s part of the AIFF (All India Football Federation) and is also an asset to Igor Stimac’s Indian national team.
Apuia participated in the India U17 World Cup squad in 2017 as well.
5. Anirudh Thapa – Chennaiyin
Anirudh Thapa is one of four AIFF Academy graduates and part of the Indian national football team.
Chennaiyin signed Thapa in 2016, and their investment has paid off.
The wonder-player has already registered 5 goals and 9 assists in the ISL. So, he has been instrumental to Chennaiyin’s success in the league.
He even was named vice-captain by Chennaiyin’s former head coach Csaba Laszlo last season.
Thapa has also been touted to lead the India national team in the future by another one of his former managers Owen Coyle.