When the Indian Super League began in 2014, it was expected that the league would throw a plethora of Indian stars on the National stage. Two years and a number of young talents later, the Indian Super League is being touted for bigger things already. While legends like Roberto Carlos, Alessandro Del Piero and Robert Pires all had stints with the various clubs, rubbing shoulders with them have surely helped the Indian players.
With all the foreign presence, it’s the Indian players who have actually benefited from the right mix of Samba and South American football, and Spain giving the much-needed input of one-touch passing football. From Africa, the much-needed grit and determination are supplied to the league and from Asia, a different flair is provided.
While India has been able to unearth its talent in the form of the Sandesh Jhingans, Rino Antos and Anas Edathodika, there has been a majority of foreign players who have found a stepping stone in the Indian league. The home-grown players have shown a lot of maturity and level-headedness to learn from the foreign contingent in the league. According to ISL rules, every franchise is allowed to have 10 foreigners in the squad.
Here, we take a look at the countries which have the highest representation in the league.
#5 Japan and Cameroon (2 each)
With creative flair, Japan is the only Asian country in the list. Joining Japan in the fifth spot is another African country, Cameroon. With the advent of Asian football in recent years, Japan has been one of the superpowers in the region.
With Cameroon increasing the African presence in India, the players from the Central African country provide the much-needed fight and warrior’s instinct on the field. The only player with two ISL titles, Apoula Edel Bete plies his trade for FC Pune City. Partnering him in the same team is Andre Bikey, the right-back.
For Japan, NorthEast United holds the bragging rights this season. Both Katsumi Yusa and Robert Cullen ply their trade for the Highlanders, with Yusa being heavily important for the Nelo Vingada side.