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5 Best football players in India – Indian football History

The Indian national football team is the national football team of India and is controlled by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Asia by the AFC. The AIFF is one of the founding members of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) in 1997, an AFC associate member since 1954, a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and part of FIFA since 1948. There are many portals where you can bet on football online, with high odds on Indian football matches and other worldwide competitions. Here we discuss a lot with Best Football Players in India and the history has witnessed.

They have never made it to any FIFA World Cup or even to any AFC Asian Cup but have qualified for eight editions (1984–1992–2011–2015 ) of the SAFF Championship since its inception in 1993. In 1950, following an invitation from FIFA president Jules Rimet, India took part in the inaugural FIFA World Cup as a special case with no qualification required. Due to lack of preparations they lost 2–1 against France in Paris on 6 July. But they won gold at the 1951 Asian Games held at New Delhi, beating Iran 1-0.

Bhaichung Bhutia

Bhaichung Bhutia is a former Indian football player. He was born on 2nd January 1975 in Tinkitam, Sikkim, India, and is the only Indian to have played in the Premier League.

Bhaichung Bhutia - Best Football Players in India

Bhaichung Bhutia started his career with Tata Football Academy (TFA) in 1992 and he also played for Kolkata sides Mohun Bagan and East Bengal as well as English Premier League club Bury during his career. He was also captain of the India National Team from 2003 till 2007 under head coach Stephen Constantine where they reached their highest FIFA ranking at 98th position in 2006 before dropping down to 166th spot in 2007 due to poor performance under his captaincy, which led him to quit international football soon after that year.

Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri is a professional footballer who plays for Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League. He has played for the Indian national team and captained it. He is India’s all-time highest goal scorer, with 51 goals to his name.

One of the Best Football Players in India
One of the Best Football Players in India © ISL

Chhetri started his career playing for Tata Football Academy before joining Mohun Bagan in 1999 where he spent two seasons and made only six appearances without scoring any goals. He then moved to East Bengal where he was a regular member of their starting lineup between 2002 and 2007, making over 150 appearances and scoring over 60 goals during this period.

ALSO READ: Top 5 Moments and Sunil Chhetri Career Records with Indian Football

In 2008, he went on trial at Charlton Athletic. Still, he did not earn a contract with them, after which he signed for Sporting Clube de Portugal on a free transfer but did not make any appearances for Sporting due to injury problems before returning home, where once again signed back with East Bengal, but this time as captain until 2011 when he signed up with Kansas City Wizards in Major League Soccer (MLS).

However, Chhetri spent most of his time on loan at Danish club Lyngby BK where he scored 16 goals from 20 matches before returning home again after KC Wizards were dissolved due lack of interest from American fans in MLS football games.

IM Vijayan

  • IM Vijayan is a retired Indian footballer. He is considered one of the greatest players in the history of Indian football.
  • IM Vijayan is the first player to score a hat-trick in a FIFA World Cup qualifier.

IM Vijayan - Indian Football Legend

Subrata Paul

Subrata Paul is an Indian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Indian club ATK and the Indian national team. He has represented India in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the AFC Asian Cup, the SAFF Championship, and the AFC Challenge Cup.

Paul started his career with East Bengal FC in 2005 where he made his debut against Mohammedan Sporting Club in an IFA Shield match on 9 December 2005 at Kolkata. He then joined Mohun Bagan A.C. in 2008 where he was named captain of their squad ahead of their first season at Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium after winning promotion back to I-League via Federation Cup triumph that year.

Subrata Paul - Among Top Football Players in India
Subrata Paul – Among Top Football Players in India © Jamshedpur FC

Paul has been awarded “Best Goalkeeper” at Durand Cup (2007), equivalent to the most prestigious tournament of India held every year since 1888.[5] Paul was also named “Best Goalkeeper” at 2008 Federation Cup Final; this was Mohun Bagan’s first win over arch-rivals East Bengal Fc since 1994 when they won 4–1 in Calcutta Football League final series held between both clubs on February 22nd & 23rd 1994.[6]

Peter Thangaraj

Peter Thangaraj - Indian Football Player

Peter thangaraj is one of the best goal keepers Indian football history will remember. He was voted as the best goalkeeper of Asia in 1958, who has also represented Indian Football Team in Rome Olympics 1960 and at Melbourne 1956. He was know for his quick reflexes, and been in the golden era of 50s and 60s. Later, he was seen as a recipient of Arjuna Award in 1967 and won gold medal at Jakarta Asian Games in 1962.

The 5 Best players in Indian football:

  • Bhaichung Bhutia: He is the only Indian player to be named in World’s best XI. He was voted Asian Footballer of the Year thrice and won many accolades for his performances for both India and East Bengal club. He was also voted as one of the best 100 living people by BBC News channel in 2007. His international career ended with 136 appearances, which makes him one of the most capped Indian players ever.
  • Sunil Chhetri: One of India’s most consistent goal scorers, he has scored 29 goals so far at an average of 0.42 goals per game (all-time highest). The striker’s captaincy has earned him respect within and outside India as well due to his leadership qualities on field and off it too through charity work & initiatives undertaken by him like “Beyond Blue” etc…

Football is a popular game in the country, and many people have played it. The list of the 10 best football players in India includes some names that are well-known to the fans of Indian football. These players have won several trophies during their careers and given some iconic performances on the field. They also made history with their achievements, making them legends in their own right!

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