10 Best Indian Footballers in 2022

We know that India is known for its Cricket and best players. But did you know about their best Indian footballers?

Also, football (soccer) has a long history in India. It was introduced to the country alongside Cricket by the British soldiers back in the day. However, it has grown daily. 

Subrata Pal during his practice session
Subrata Pal during his practice session (Source: Instagram)

Although it isn’t as big as Cricket, it has undoubtedly left some mark on the Indian population. Therefore, we needed to bring this to our attention and write about the current ten best Indian footballers in India.

10 Best Indian Footballers in 2022

We could rank these excellent footballers with the help of information provided by Sports Geeks.

Here’s a quick look at what the ranking looks like. 

RankName of the FootballersTeam
10Robin SinghRoundGlass Punjab
9Anwar AliGoa
8Francis FernandesDempo S.C.
7Rowllin BorgesMumbai City
6Pritam KotalATK Mohun Bagan
5Gurpreet Singh SandhuBengaluru
4Sandesh JhinganATK Mohun Bagan
3Jeje LalpekhluaEast Bengal
2Subrata PalATK Mohun Bagan
1Sunil ChhetriBengaluru

 

10. Robin Singh

One of the most talented and committed Indian footballers, Robin Singh, is the name many recognize.

However, this strong striker initially had other ambitions for his career before choosing football. Moreover, Singh chose football because it was his family’s sport.

After all, Robin still says that his family is what drives him most. He began his career in the I-League with East Bengal. He performed well in the Calcutta exams while playing for the East Bengal team.

Robin-Singh
Well-known Indian footballer Robin Singh. (Source: Wikimedia)

Likewise, Singh participated at the Tata Football Academy as well. The Academy was where he helped them win several championships, including the Jubilee Cup.

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He debuted at the U-23 level against Myanmar in the 2012 Olympic qualifiers. Besides, Singh has represented India at international levels, including U-16, U-23, and India Senior.

9. Anwar Ali

Ranked as one of the best Indian footballers, Anwar Ali is a force to be reckoned with. Besides, before joining the football league, our Punjab hero worked as a Police officer for the Punjab Police.

Speaking of Ali, he currently played for Goa F.C. In 2004, Ali also participated in the Punjab Santosh Trophy team.

anwar-ali
Anwar Ali was posing for a photo. (Source: Instagram)

During his training sessions, the assistant coach of the Punjab Police persuaded him to join JCT FC due to his talent for the sport.

In the 2006 Durand Cup, Anwar Ali was named the most promising footballer. Ali signed with several notable I-League clubs throughout his career, including Dempo F.C., United Sikkim F.C., Mumbai F.C., and ATK football club.

8. Francis Fernandes

Francis Fernandes developed a love for football when he was in high school. He first began to play for his school. After the tryouts, he was chosen for the Vasco U19 later in his academic career.

Francis now mostly fills the wing position for the Indian team Dempo S.C.

He joined Salgaocar in 2006 after two successful seasons with the Vasco S.C. Senior team.
Since 2011, he has been a critical and active member of the Indian football team.

Francis Fernandes
Francisco Fernandes of Chennaiyin FC during match 65 of the Hero Indian Super League. (Source: All Football)

Above all, on October 6, 2014, Fernandes scored his maiden goal on the international stage against Palestine. It brought him most of his popularity. Following this, he continued to play for Delhi Dynamos from 2014 to 2016.

There is no doubt about Fernandes’s talents and love for the sport. Everyone on his team loves and respects him.

7. Rowllin Borges

Borges plays defensive midfield for Mumbai City F.C. in the ISL and the Indian National Football Team.

Speaking of Borges, he made his I-League debut in 2011 while playing for Sporting Clube de Goa against Prayag United. In 2016, he subsequently switched teams to join East Bengal Club.

Stephen Constantine, Indian National Team’s head coach, was at a football game in Goa. And it was the same time he witnessed Borges’ play. Therefore, the coach was so shocked by Borges’ performance that he decided to add him to the Indian national squad.

Rowllin-Borges
Rowllin Borges was celebrating his birthday. (Source: Instagram)

He scored his first famous goal at Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram during the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015 match against Nepal. The 2017 AFC Asian Cup qualification followed this.

6. Pritam Kotal

Kotal, who was up seeing his family participate in football, was born in a tiny West Bengali city and has always had a special love for the game.

Being one of the well-known football players from India, Pritam Kotal is presently a defender for club ATK Mohun Bagan and the Indian national team.

Pritam-Kotal
Pritam Kotal during a training session. (Source: Instagram)

However, Kotal’s international career began when he was a member of the U-19 team. In 2011, he joined the AIFF’s I-League. Two years later, in 2013, he decided to enroll in his current club Mohun Bagan, which was a dream come true for him.

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In 2014, he also participated in a match for Pune F.C. against Mumbai City. Following this, Kotal participated in the 2016 AFC U-23 championship and played a vital role in the U-23 Indian team’s performance in the 2014 Asian Games.

5. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Playing as a goalkeeper in the Indian Super League for Bengaluru F.C., Gurpreet Singh Sandhu can be called one of the best Indian footballers.

Moreover, Sandhu joined the East Bengal squad in 2010, starting his career as a professional footballer. Besides, he represented India at the U-19 and U-23 levels. He made his international debut at the same time.

Similarly, 2011 saw Sandhu make his senior squad debut, drawing 1-1 with Turkmenistan. During the game, this 28-year-old was named the Indian Football Captain for 2016, a significant accomplishment.

Gurpreet-Singh-Sandhu
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu during a practice session. (Source: Instagram)

Besides, let’s not forget that Sandhu is the first Indian to participate in the UEFA Europa League. In a match against Qatar, the goalie put on arguably the most exemplary performance of his life, making 11 incredible saves. He was without a doubt the match’s Man of the Match.

4. Sandesh Jhingan

Sandesh Jhingan is one of the best Indian footballers who plays as a defender for the Indian national team.

Besides, Jhingan now holds the record for the most appearances for Kerala Blasters as of 2020.

In 2015, he played his first international game for India. 5 years later, Jhingan earned the Arjuna Title in 2020 after winning the AIFF Emerging Player of the Year award in 2014. The 2020–21 AIFF Men’s Player of the Year Award also went to him.

Sandesh-Jhingan
Sandesh Jhingan with his wife, Ivanka. (Source: Instagram)

Apart from that, Sandesh has previously captained Kerala Blasters of the Indian Super League. In the first season of 2014, he received the “ISL Emerging Player of the League” award.

Likewise, he displayed his soccer prowess on a stage provided by the ISL, a professional football competition. Similarly, Jingan was also named the Indian National Team’s captain by the All India Football Federation in 2017.

3. Jeje Lalpekhlua

Indian striker Jeje Lalpekhlua Fanai is among the best Indian Football players in the Indian league.

Above all, Lalpekhlua holds the record for most goals scored for Chennaiyin and is the second-highest goal scorer in the Indian Super League.

Alongside Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin, Jeje won the 2014–15 Indian Premier League.

Jeje_Lalpekhlua
Jeje Lalpekhlua is an Indian footballer playing for Pune F.C. in the I-League. (Source: Wiki)

Speaking about Jeje, he is from a football family and is from the little town of Mizoram. Although Jeje Lalpekhlua often plays as a center forward, he is also capable of playing on the wings.

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However, Jeje gained notoriety due to an outstanding performance at the Mizoram Wai Wai Cup. Jeje’s impressive performance earned him a spot on the under-19 team, and from that point onward, he never looked back.

2. Subrata Pal

One of India’s top goalkeepers and a key player for Hyderabad F.C., Subrata Paul is known by many Indians.

Nevertheless, Pal has always performed well for the Indian National Team. Although he is one of the most well-known football players, acquiring the name “Spiderman of India” after making over 35 saves in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, the 33-year-old is as unstoppable as ever.

It all began when Subrata got off to a fast start in 2004 when he signed up for Mohun Bagan at 18.

Subrata-Pal
Subrata Pal during a match. (Source: Instagram)

Subrata Paul established himself as an international hero by helping the Indian team overcome Kyrgyzstan in the quarterfinals and Syria by a 1-0 in the Nehru Cup 2007.

Also, let’s not forget that Pal is the first Indian goalie and maybe the fourth Indian player to establish records in the international leagues.

In 2015, he was named captain of the Indian football team, and in 2016, he received the Arjuna Award.

1. Sunil Chhetri

Known as the finest football player in India, Sunil Chhetri plays as a forward and is the captain of Bengaluru in the Indian Super League and the national squad of India.
Sunil Chhetri, born in 1984, had an excellent introduction to the sport, thanks to his parents. He signed up with Mohun Bagan when he was 17.

So far, Chhetri has participated in 115 international competitions, playing for India, and he still wants to play more. He was possibly one of the most outstanding performers in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup during his early competitive career.

Sunil_Chhetri
Indian footballer Sunil Chhetri. (Source: Wiki)

So far, Chhetri has participated in 115 international competitions, playing for India, and he still wants to play more. He was possibly one of the most outstanding performers in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup during his early competitive career.

For the first time in 27 years, Chetri helped the Indian squad qualify for the AFC Asian Cup. Similarly, He significantly contributed to his country’s victories in the SAFF Championship in 2011, the Nehru Cup in 2007, and the 2009 and 2012 editions.

Conclusion

If you are here, you probably know how big football is and how much it takes for someone to be one of the best in the sport. These talented footballers didn’t just become the best.

You might also be interested in the 12 Most Beautiful Sportswomen in India.

So, which was your favorite footballer out of the ones mentioned above? Feel free to let us know. 

Also, if we missed some, do let us know. We will try to include them in our next article. 

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