Scoring a header is one of the most difficult techniques to master in modern football. It demands patience, execution, timing and accuracy in order to head the ball into the back of the net. It may seem like a simple and old-school method of scoring goals, but nonetheless, it gives teams an edge over their opponents.

Over the years in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), teams and players have evolved. It’s not just the target men and the strikers that attempt to take the aerial route to goal, but also midfielders and defenders.

From thumping headers to delightful flicks, we’ve seen different types of headers being scored in the Hero ISL since its inception. With that, we’ve listed the players with the most headed goals from each season.

2014: Massamba Lo Sambou (NorthEast United FC) - Two goals

Lo Sambou featured in six matches for NorthEast United FC in the inaugural season of the Hero ISL. The former AS Monaco player netted two headed goals that season and both his goals came in a single game with Lo Sambou finding the net in his side’s 3-0 win over Chennaiyin FC.

2015: Mohammed Rafi (Kerala Blasters FC) - Four goals

Rafi represented ATK FC in the first season of the Hero ISL, but signed for his hometown club Kerala Blasters FC the following season. Rafi hit the ground running at Kerala Blasters FC as he found the net on four occasions that campaign, with all of his strikes coming through headers. The Kasargod- born striker ended the season as KBFC’s third-highest scorer behind Antonio German and Chris Dagnall.

2016: Davide Succi (Chennaiyin FC) - Two goals

Italian striker Succi was part of Chennaiyin FC’s squad during the 2016 season and he played 13 matches for the Marina Machans, registering three goals and an assist. He scored the only goal in Chennaiyin FC’s first-ever victory against NorthEast United FC besides finding the net against FC Pune City and ATK FC. Chennaiyin FC finished seventh that season, but did not lose a single game whenever the Italian striker scored.

Helder Postiga (ATK FC) - Two goals

Playing his second Hero ISL season, Postiga played 11 games for ATK FC and netted two goals. The Portuguese star was on target against NorthEast United FC and Chennaiyin FC, but couldn’t find form after suffering an injury in the early stages of the season. However, despite his rough patch, Postiga ended the season as a Hero ISL champion with ATK FC beating Kerala Blasters FC on penalties, securing their second title.

2017-18: Mailson Alves (Chennaiyin FC) - Four goals

Touted as one of the greatest defenders to grace the Hero ISL, Brazilian defender Alves was one of Chennaiyin FC’s most influential players during their Hero ISL title triumphs in 2015 and 2017-18 respectively. He scored his debut goal for Chennaiyin FC during the 2017-18 season and finished the season with four goals, all coming from headers. Two of them came in that season’s final, with Chennaiyin FC beating Bengaluru FC in a five-goal thriller, becoming the second club to win two Hero ISL titles.

2018-19: Mourtada Fall (FC Goa) - Four goals

Fall became an instant hit at FC Goa, impressing for the Gaurs in his debut Hero ISL season. His presence at the back was vital as FC Goa reached the final during the 2018-19 season, losing to Bengaluru FC in the summit clash.

The towering Senegalese defender helped FC Goa keep a joint-high tally of eights clean sheets that season besides scoring on four occasions, all through headers. The centre-back was the third-joint top scorer for the Gaurs and ended the season as the highest scoring defender.

Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC) - Four goals

Chhetri chipped in with nine goals and finished as Bengaluru FC’s leading scorer as they clinched their first Hero ISL that season. The Indian captain also displayed his aerial prowess that season, scoring four headers. Chhetri finished the season as the fourth highest scorer behind Ferran Corominas, Bartholomew Ogeche, and Modou Sougou.

2019-20: Mourtada Fall (FC Goa) - Five goals

Fall carried on his sensational form from the previous season, helping FC Goa secure the League Shield. He recorded five clean sheets besides having a hand in eight goals for the Gaurs that season with five goals and three assists. Like the previous season, all of his strikes came through headers, including two in the second leg semi-final against Chennaiyin FC. However, his goals weren’t enough to help FC Goa make it to the final on aggregate.

2020-21: Bartholomew Ogbeche (Mumbai City FC) - Five goals

After two seasons at Kerala Blasters FC and NorthEast United FC respectively, Ogbeche signed for Mumbai City FC ahead of the 2020-21 season, joining the Islanders on a one-year deal. He found playing time hard to come by at Mumbai City FC under head coach Sergio Lobera, starting in just nine of their 23 games that season.

However, the Nigerian striker was prolific when on the pitch, with most of his goals coming from headers. He netted eight goals and provided three assists as MCFC won the double, becoming the first team to do so.

2021-22: Bartholomew Ogbeche (Hyderabad FC) - Five goals

The 2021-22 season saw Ogbeche continue his Hero ISL sojourn, this time with Hyderabad FC and the striker established himself as the club’s talisman that campaign. The former Paris Saint-Germain frontman witnessed his best-ever Hero ISL season with 18 goals and an assist, guiding Hyderabad FC to the Hero ISL title - the club’s first-ever silverware.

Just like he did in the previous season, the veteran striker once again tormented defences and provided an aerial threat for his side, with five headed goals. Ogbeche was also awarded with the Hero ISL Golden Boot award.

Javier Siverio (Hyderabad FC) - Five goals

Siverio was mainly used by former Hyderabad FC head coach Manolo Marquez as an impact substitute during their title winning campaign. The youngster was handed a start in just eight out of their 23 games that season, but chipped in with goals whenever needed.

The Spaniard scored five headed goals despite just 948 minutes on the pitch, tallying seven goals and an assist. Despite those challenges, Siverio ended the campaign as Hyderabad FC’s second highest scorer behind Ogbeche

2022-23: Petar Sliskovic (Chennaiyin FC) - Six goals

Sliskovic was signed by Chennaiyin FC to solve their goal-scoring issues, with the side netting just 17 goals in each of the previous two seasons. Chennaiyin FC missed out on a playoff spot for a third season, but Sliskovic’s presence provided a cutting edge to Chennaiyin FC’s attack, with the side putting on a much-improved display in the final third, scoring 36 goals.

Sliskovic had 12 goal contributions, with eight goals and four assists to his name. One of the tall figures in the Chennaiyin FC squad, his imposing frame saw him score through headers on most occasions, with as many as six headed goals. The Croatian forward now holds the record for the most headed goals in a single Hero ISL season.