The best overseas wizards of Hero ISL
Over the past four years, the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) has not only seen the Indian players prove their mettle on the national stage, but also lain witness to certain accomplished foreigners. Players possessing creativity and a distinguished footballing brain have graced the field, delivering consistent performances over seasons for their respective clubs.
These players have created memorable moments over the years that include breath-taking goals and sublime individual displays. Here we look at a few of the best foreign players to have plied their trade in the Hero ISL.
Iain Hume – The man with the records
Hero ISL’s all-time top scorer, Hume has been a complete star in the Indian football scene for the past four years. The Canadian boasts of a stunning record in front of goal with 28 to his name. He represented Kerala Blasters FC in the inaugural season, finishing as runners-up to ATK. After shifting base to Kolkata as a part of ATK in 2015, Hume eventually got his hands on the Hero ISL trophy in 2016 as a part of Jose Molina’s unit, where he emerged as the club’s top scorer. The 34-year-old then returned to the Blasters for the 2017-18 campaign, but injuries restricted him from being his lethal best.
Marcelinho – Pune’s talisman
The FC Pune City striker has been a revelation since he joined the league in 2016. The Brazilian forward has scored a total of 18 goals over the past two years in the league. Marcelinho was an integral part of Ranko Popovic’s side and led the Stallions to their first-ever playoff appearance in 2017-18. In his debut campaign as a part of Delhi Dynamos FC, the 31-year-old finished as the top scorer of the league with 10 goals. Marcelinho is known for his flair on the ball and clinical finishing abilities. The forward will no doubt be among the top marksmen when the new season kicks off.
Elano Blumer – The Brazilian magician
One of the most gifted players to ever play in the Hero ISL, Elano guided Chennaiyin FC to their first league title in 2015. The Brazilian midfielder served as the chief creative outlet for the Marina Machans in 2014 and 2015, making a total of 26 appearances for the club. The former Brazilian international registered a total of 12 goals and 5 assists but is specially remembered for the threat he posed from a dead ball situation.
Stiven Mendoza – The king of pace
Mendoza was another integral part of the Chennaiyin FC side which clinched the 2015 title. The Colombian finished as the top scorer of the season bagging 13 goals in 16 games with an astonishing average of 0.81 goals per game. Mendoza’s pace and movement proved to be a nightmare for opposition defences, while his partnership upfront with Elano pivotal to Chennaiyin’s success. The 26-year-old’s finest moment came in 2015 when he scored an injury-time winner in a truly enthralling Final against FC Goa, which won them their maiden trophy.
Raphael Augusto – The graceful maestro
Few players have displayed the kind of skill and gracefulness as Augusto has in the Hero ISL. The Brazilian served as the creative lynchpin of John Gregory’s Chennaiyin outfit which won the 2017-18 campaign. Augusto was a regular in the squad, appearing 18 times over the course of the campaign. He also featured in Chennaiyin’s maiden Hero ISL triumph in 2015. The 27-year-old’s primary attributes are his dribbling abilities and passing range. His services will be vital if Chennaiyin hope to retain their title in the upcoming campaign.