ISL in 2023: Best players of the year
Let’s take a look at some of the best players who rose to the occasion in the league this year.
The Indian Super League (ISL) brought immense joy to several players in 2023. From established names to new faces, Indian football fans were treated to spectacular performances throughout the year.
These players not only elevated their own game but also contributed massively to the success of their respective teams.
With the dust settling on a brilliant year of football, let’s take a look at some of the best players who rose to the occasion in the ISL in 2023.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC)
The Bengaluru FC custodian had a wonderful year, making the most saves throughout 2023. With 76 saves in 2250 minutes on the field, he also played the most minutes in the league in 2023. Securing six clean sheets, Sandhu displayed why he is rated among the best goalkeepers in the league.
Sandesh Jhingan (FC Goa)
Jhingan was immense for Bengaluru FC’s backline last season, leading them to the ISL 2022-23 final. He registered the most number of clearances last season. The India international moved to FC Goa during the summer and has been crucial to his team’s defensive prowess this season.
With nine successful tackles, 56 clearances, four blocks, and five interceptions in his ten appearances for FC Goa in the league, Jhingan has led his team to six clean sheets, conceding only five goals in ISL 2023-24 so far. He also scored a crucial equalizer against East Bengal FC in October which eventually earned FC Goa all three points off the match.
Odei Onaindia (FC Goa)
Onaindia was a significant reason why Hyderabad FC made it to the playoffs last season, helping the team keep 12 clean sheets on their way to the semi-final. The Spanish centre-back, now with FC Goa, has been a wall protecting his team from opposition attacks, displaying excellence in his new team.
With five successful tackles, 12 interceptions, and six blocks to complement his 33 clearances in ISL 2023-24, the former Hyderabad FC defender has been a key player for the Gaurs.
Pritam Kotal (Kerala Blasters FC)
In a memorable year for the Bengali defender, Kotal led Mohun Bagan SG to ISL Cup success back in March. Signing for Kerala Blasters FC in June 2023, Kotal has maintained his aggression with his commanding presence in the Blasters’ backline. In ISL 2023-24, Kotal has managed 12 successful tackles, 26 interceptions, 22 clearances, and five blocks in 12 matches, leading his team to four clean sheets.
Adrian Luna (Kerala Blasters FC)
The Uruguayan has been the most impactful midfielder this year with 45 chances created during his presence on the pitch. Luna has also registered the most number of assists (7), alongside Lallianzuala Chhangte of Mumbai City FC and Rafael Crivellaro of Chennaiyin FC. With five goals to accompany his midfield masterclass, the Kerala Blasters FC player has established himself as the pivot of the team.
Ahmed Jahouh (Odisha FC)
The defensive midfielder had been instrumental in Mumbai City FC’s success in the first half of this year, having a big hand in their League Shield triumph. Since his transfer to the Kalinga Warriors during the summer, Jahouh has been a commander on the pitch, creating 29 chances for his teammates and scoring three goals.
In his 1719 minutes on the field, Jahouh has created 29 chances for his teammates, including two assists. He has also found the back of the net on three occasions.
Noah Sadaoui (FC Goa)
The FC Goa attacker has been remarkable with his creativity and attacking threat for the Gaurs. With 1249 minutes to his name, the winger has bagged eight goals in 2023. Furthermore, Sadaoui created 22 chances for his team and has also racked up five assists. His presence has boosted FC Goa’s attack once again this season and led them to finish the year unbeaten in ISL 2023-24.
Naorem Mahesh Singh (East Bengal FC)
In 2023, East Bengal FC found themselves a gem in the form of Naorem Mahesh Singh. Although in the squad from 2022, Mahesh stepped up his game this year, creating 28 chances and providing four assists in his 1632 minutes wearing the Red and Gold kit. He has also scored three goals this year and seems to be on an upward trajectory.
Lallianzuala Chhangte (Mumbai City FC)
Chhangte was on fire last season for Mumbai City FC, registering the second-highest goal contributions for the Islanders during their League Shield triumph. With 10 goals and six assists, Chhangte enjoyed his most successful season in terms of goal contributions in the previous campaign. The Mumbai City FC winger, though not having the best start in ISL 2023-24, has been vital for the team, contributing two goals and as many assists.
This year, Chhangte spent 1651 minutes spent on the pitch and created 27 chances while chipping in with seven assists, the joint highest in 2023 alongside Crivellaro and Luna. Chhangte bagged seven goals in 2023 to complement his creativity.
Dimitri Petratos (Mohun Bagan Super Giant)
Petratos was the primary attacking threat for Mohun Bagan SG last season, finishing as the top scorer for the Mariners. Petratos has continued to be one of the main players for the Mariners again this season, providing three goals and an assist in eight matches this season.
The Australian striker has found the back of the net on 10 occasions this year, playing 1688 minutes. He has also created the most chances (45) this year, alongside Luna, registering two assists in the process.
Deigo Mauricio (Odisha FC)
Mauricio has been a beast in front of the goal in 2023. He emerged as the team’s top goalscorer last season and led them to a place in the ISL playoffs for the first time in history. Mauricio has scored the most number of goals (12) this year, alongside Kerala Blasters FC striker Dimitrios Diamantakos, who has played over 300 more minutes than the Brazilian. In his 1346 minutes on the field this year, he has also created 12 chances for the Kalinga Warriors and provided two crucial assists.
Notable mentions: Greg Stewart (Mumbai City FC), Cleiton Silva (East Bengal FC), Mehtab Singh (Mumbai City FC), Vishal Kaith (Mohun Bagan SG), Subhasish Bose (Mohun Bagan SG), Lalengmawia Ralte (Mumbai City FC), Carl McHugh (FC Goa), Roy Krishna (Odisha FC), Dimitrios Diamantakos (Kerala Blasters FC).