Interceptions are a significant factor in football. It involves intercepting the opponent's passes and winning the ball. Players who master interceptions, secure possession and off-balance their opponents, allowing their team to take further control of the match.

This skill requires sharp anticipation and constant focus on the ball. The modern approach to defending from the front means it is a skill now required for both attackers and defenders.

Many Indian Super League (ISL) players have showcased their fine interception skills in the 2023-24 season. Up next, we look at the top five players with the most interceptions in the league, who have displayed immense defensive skill and tactical intelligence.

5. Hector Yuste (Mohun Bagan Super Giant) - 34 Interceptions in 24 Matches

 

Mohun Bagan Super Giant centre-back Hector Yuste made his mark with the number of opposition plays he has broken up. With 34 interceptions in 24 games, Yuste’s exceptional reading of the game and perfect timing have significantly contributed to winning back possession for proactive teams like Mohun Bagan SG, who use it to start their counter-attacks. The 36-year-old Spaniard was a crucial part of the team's defense, making their backline stronger and proving to be instrumental in their League Shield success.

4. Mohammed Ali Bemammer (NorthEast United FC) - 34 Interceptions in 21 Matches

 

NorthEast United FC's defensive midfielder Mohammed Ali Bemammer has proven to be a defensive pillar with 34 interceptions in 21 games. The Moroccan has shown an exceptional ability to read passes in advance and break down opponents' attacks.

He is one of the leaders around whom NorthEast United has built their defensive structure. The 34-year-old’s interceptions came at critical moments, blocking potential goals and keeping his team's defense in shape.

3. Ahmed Jahouh (Odisha FC) - 35 Interceptions in 22 Matches

Ahmed Jahouh, another Moroccan defensive midfielder on our list, has demonstrated his defensive capabilities for Odisha FC with 35 interceptions in 22 matches. The 34-year-old’s ability to read the game and recover balls has been impressive. Jahouh's consistent performances were a key reason Odisha FC qualified for the semi-finals, thanks to their strong defensive record.

2. Pachuau Laldinpuia (Jamshedpur FC) - 37 Interceptions in 21 Matches

 

Pachuau Laldinpuia stands out among the defenders of Jamshedpur FC with 37 interceptions in 21 games, showcasing his positional awareness and anticipation skills. The full-back has been instrumental in breaking the opponents' play and transitioning his team from defense to offense. The 27-year-old’s contributions helped Jamshedpur FC maintain their defensive resilience as they came close to reaching the playoffs.

1. Nikhil Prabhu (Punjab FC) - 42 Interceptions in 20 Matches

 

Punjab FC's young Indian talent Nikhil Prabhu tops the chart with 42 interceptions in 20 matches. His outstanding game-reading skills prevent opponents from taking more time on the ball than planned. The 23-year-old’s ability to break plays through interceptions has thwarted numerous opposition attacks and allowed his team to gain control.

From a defensive standpoint, the midfielder was one the most industrious player this season, showing great tactical intelligence and playing a crucial role in Punjab FC enjoying a memorable debut season.