Saturday, August 13, 2022

Top 10 Indian footballers who played for foreign clubs  

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Currently, a lot of Indian players are earning opportunities to experience foreign football. Here, we are talking about the top 10 Indian footballers who served foreign clubs.            

In this article, we have significantly focused on those Indian footballers who have got opportunities in top football clubs outside the Asian continent.

Top 10 Indian footballers who played for foreign clubs

Sahil Tavora (GDSC Alvarenga)

Sahil Tavora
Image Credit: Twitter

The midfielder Sahil Tavora is now serving for the ISL 2021/22 winning side Hyderabad FC. Before joining this club in the 2019/20 season, Tavora spent one season (2018/19) in the fourth-tier Portuguese club GDSC Alvarenga.

Romeo Fernandes (Atletico Paranaense)

Romeo Fernandes
Image Credit: Twitter

The winger Romeo Fernandes had one appearance for the Indian national football team in 2015. Earlier, he also represented the India U23 side. In 2015, then Dempo footballer Fernandes served the Brazilian top-tier club Atletico Paranaense on loan. He only played 22 minutes for that team in three months tenure as he ended the loan tenure prematurely to prepare for the second ISL season.  

Ishan Pandita (Pobla Mafumet, Lorca FC)

Ishan Pandita

Young striker Ishan Pandita, who has already started his international career, is currently serving for Jamshedpur. Since his teenage, Pandita experienced many Spanish football clubs. He had youth careers with Alcobendas, Almeria, Leganes and Gimnastic. Serving for Leganes in the U19 football means he became the first Indian to play for a youth side of a Spanish top division club.

Pandita’s first senior contract was for the Spanish fourth division club Pobla Mafumet, the farm team of Gimnastic, in early 2019. He played one game for that team before moving to another Spanish fourth division club Lorca. Pandita played more than 20 games for Lorca before returning to India to experience his first senior club football match in the country.  

Mohammed Salim (Celtic FC)   

Mohammed Salim
Image Credit: Twitter
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Former winger Mohammed Salim was a popular legend for the Indian Kolkata-based club Mohammedan SC. During his late career in the late 1930s, Salim served the popular Scottish first division club Celtic FC. He was the first footballer from the Indian sub-continent to play for a European football club, where he also scored valuable goals. However, he only played friendly matches and never appeared in an official game.

Subrata Paul (FC Vestsjaelland)

subrata paul
Image Credit: Jamshedpur FC

Indian national team goalkeeper Subrata Paul, who once dominated the national team with his gloves, has huge experience in Indian club football. This talented goalkeeper once served for the Danish top-tier club FC Vestsjaelland in 2014. Though he had signed a contract with the club, he only made appearances for the reserve squad.

Aditi Chauhan (West Ham United W.F.C.)      

Aditi Chauhan
Image credit: Twitter

The talented Indian women’s goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan is now playing for Gokulam Kerala women’s team. She served for the English top-tier club West Ham United Ladies for several years from 2015. She was the first footballer from the Indian national women’s team to play competitive football in an English club.

In 2021, Aditi also agreed on a deal with Iceland’s third division team Hamar Hveragerði. However, it failed to happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Bala Devi (Rangers WFC)

Bala Devi Hindustan Times
Credit: Hindustan Times

The striker Ngangom Bala Devi (popularly known as Bala Devi) is one of the greatest ever footballers in Indian women’s national football team history as she is holding the record of scoring the most goals for the Indian women’s national team. In 2014, Devi signed a contract with the Maldives top-tier club New Radiant WSC. From 2020 to 2021, she also served for the Scottish top-tier club Rangers WFC. She was the first Indian woman footballer to sign a professional contract for a European club as well as the first Indian woman to score in a professional European football league.

Bhaichung Bhutia (Bury FC)

baichung bhutia

The legendary striker Bhaichung Bhutia played for the English third-tier team Bury FC between 1999 and 2002. Later, in 2003 and 2005, he also served for the Malaysian clubs Perak F.A. (top tier) on loan and Selangor MK Land (second tier) respectively.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Stabaek)

ISL: Top 10 goalkeepers with the most clean sheets in history

The talented goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is now known as the wall of Indian football. Between 2014 and 2017, Sandhu played for the Norwegian top-tier club Stabaek. He played more than 10 matches for that club.  

Sunil Chhetri (Kansas City Wizards, Sporting CP B)

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The legendary Indian striker Sunil Chhetri is holding the all-time record of most appearances and most goals of the national team. In 2010, Chhetri served for the USA MLS team Kansas City Wizards. Chhetri made one official appearance for that club in a Cup game. Later, he played for the Portuguese second tier club Sporting CP B in 2013/14 season, where he officially appeared in three games.

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