Indian Super League reached its fitting finale in a glorious last minute winner scored by India’s Mohammed Rafique and winning the trophy for a Football frenzy city Kolkata. Atletico Da Kolkata were the first team to grab the Bull by the horns and introduce Indian Super League to the world with their esteemed collaboration with Atletico Madrid from Spanish La Liga.
An Indian indeed scored the winner which was in a way fitting as the sole purpose of the Indian Super League was to provide an able platform for local Indian Player to step up to the plate and perform.
There were several marquee names who helped the tournament gain a vital International coverage. Players like Alessandro Del Piero, Robert Pires, Luis Garcia, Nicolas Anelka, Elano, David James and others made the world stand up and take notice of Indian Super League.
With all that said, we bring you the top 5 defenders from Indian Super League’s inaugural season. There were many able contenders for this top 5 spot but we have chosen the following 5 players in our Indian Super League Top 5 defenders list.
Bernard Mendy (Chennaiyin FC)
I would have him just for his amazing Bicycle Kick scored against Kerala Blasters, but those who have followed the Indian Super League would know, Mendy was way more than that wonder goal. The former Paris Saint-Germain was a constant rock at the back for the Chennaiyin FC side which allowed Chennaiyin’s attackers to go and get the goals.
Mendy was as solid at the back as he was potent going forward. To go with his 23 tackles Mendy had 21 crosses to his name in the entire tournament. Mendy’s biggest asset was his pace and strength which not many defenders can claim to have. Bernard Mendy was indeed one of the very best defenders from Indian Super League season 1.
Gregory Arnolin (FC Goa)
Gregory Arnolin makes out cut simply for the way he led FC Goa’s back four in testing times. Robert Pires, FC Goa’s main man was absent for earlier parts of the Tournament and Arnolin had to deputise for his captain and he did a fine job at it.
Gregory Arnolin’s leadership and gritty defending led FC Goa in to the semis of Indian Super League 2014 when it seemed FC Goa would be in and around the bottom of Indian Super League standings.
Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters)
The brightest and best Indian defender in the tournament was Sandesh Jhingan. 21 Years old defender was awarded as the “Best Emerging player” of the tournament and there should not be any surprises that clubs from Europe and United States are interested in signing the young defender from Kerala Blasters.
Andre Santos (FC Goa)
Arsenal misfit, this is the reputation he came with to Indian Premier League and he will leave with his reputation well in tact after helping FC Goa to a successful campaign. Santos joined his team late on in the tournament and his attacking vigour from the left hand side was one of the most vibrant thing to see during FC Goa’s matches.
Fellow Brazilian Zico’s guidance seemed to help Santos put on a fine display in the Indian Super League season 1 scoring four goals and making three goals for his teammates. Only blemish Santos had in the entire tournament was of missing a penalty kick during the shoot-out in the Semi Final. Take that out of the equation and Andre Santos had an amazing tournament.
Josemi (Atletico De Kolkata)
Former Liverpool man was the calming influence in a rapid Atletico De Kolkata season where Josemi made sure that team from Kolkata had a stable back four and which ultimately led Atletico De Kolkata in becoming the first ever Indian Super League champions.
Josemi struck a more than handy partnership his fellow team mate Arnab Mondal and guided his team to the first ever ISL title.