From Diego Mauricio to Wilmar Jordan Gil: Top five players from the Hero Super Cup
The Hero Super Cup 2023 has come and gone, but we certainly won’t be forgetting it in a hurry. Odisha FC were crowned champions after beating former winners Bengaluru FC 2-1 in the final at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala.
Hero Super Cup 2023 also featured plenty of surprises with Hero Indian Super League (ISL) and Hero I-League clubs leaving no stone unturned. Every single team played their heart out to make the campaign memorable. It featured some brilliant individual performances from a few special players that will be etched in the memory of Indian football fans for a long time.
On that note, let's take a look at the top five players from the Hero Super Cup:
Odisha FC’s triumph in the Hero Super Cup was defined by hard work and a collective desire to give everything for the cause. And no player encapsulated that mindset better than Diego Mauricio.
The Brazilian forward was in his usual self in the Hero Super Cup, turning full-backs inside out and easing past centre-backs. The Hero ISL Golden Boot winner bagged five goals and two assists in five Hero Super Cup games, including a brace in the final against Bengaluru FC.
Mauricio could find himself in spaces where no one else could, capitalising on the most crucial moments and being the spark for Clifford Miranda’s side. There’s a reason he is so valued by his club.
Wilmar Jordan Gil
NorthEast United FC’s run to the Hero Super Cup semi-finals was nothing short of magical. The Highlanders eventually went down to a jubilant Odisha FC side, which eventually lifted the coveted trophy.
Gil set the pace up for the Highlanders with his exemplary performance in the tournament. He put on a magnificent show in the Hero Super Cup with the best coming in the final group stage game against Churchill Brothers FC, where he scored four goals. The Colombian attacker won the Golden Boot award with seven goals in four appearances. The untiring Gil toiled for Floyd Pinto’s side like a true leader with the firmness of a hound that smelled blood.
The speedy winger has been one of the standout performers in Indian football this season. The 27-year-old has been integral in Odisha FC’s coup in the Hero Super Cup, thanks to his five goals in the tournament.
Sekar is skilful, talented, and efficient, and he displayed the same in his performances in the Hero Super Cup. Sekar popped up at crucial times for his side which reaffirmed his place among the best attackers in the country. He chipped in with crucial goals against East Bengal FC in the opening group stage game and against NorthEast United FC in the semi-final, thus lightening the load on the likes of Diego Mauricio and Victor Rodriguez.
Be it for country or club, Jhingan has always been one of the calmest and most reliable heads in the side and it was no different in the Hero Super Cup. The 29-year-old was astonishing in the backline for Bengaluru FC during the tournament.
The Blues were very impressive on their run to their third final of the season and Jhingan was undoubtedly his side's best player of the tournament. He forged a strong partnership with Bruno Ramires, helping them keep two clean sheets in the tournament.
During the final, the centre-back came very close to scoring the equaliser in the final minute of the stoppage time in the final, but he put his header wide off the target by fine margins.
Crivellaro did struggle a lot to get back to his best since his return from injury after a lengthy layoff. So in all fairness, he came into the tournament with a pretty low base. But it looked like the Brazilian playmaker had certainly rediscovered his form in the Hero Super Cup.
With Jay Emmanuel-Thomas they formed arguably one of the best midfielder pairs in the whole tournament. The 34-year-old was terrific on the ball and his decision-making has been top-notch. Crivellaro put in a tremendous shift in the first two group stage games against FC Goa and ATK Mohun Bagan respectively, which helped them secure a place in the semi-final. He led his side in terms of key passes and chances created.
In four appearances at the Hero Super Cup, Crivellaro scored two goals and provided two assists.
Notable mentions: Victor Rodriguez, Carlos Delgado, Amrinder Singh, Naorem Roshan, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Gani Nigam, Ritwik Das, Pratik Chaudhari.