I-League 2012-13 Review: Who is the Best Foreign Player of the Season?
Sportskeeda continues the review of the 2012-13 I-League by paying tribute to the best foreign performers.
Beto (Churchill Brothers)
In terms of league titles, not many foreigners can match Beto’s achievement of winning it five times and the Brazilian also became the first foreigner to win the biggest prize in Indian club football with two different clubs in the I-League era. Beto’s class and experience was instrumental in Churchill Brothers’ second league triumph and his statistics are also impressive as he scored 13 goals and bagged six assists to once again emerge as the Goan club’s talisman.
After winning almost everything at Dempo, Beto undertook a new challenge of being I-League champion with another club and he achieved that in style with Churchill Brothers despite being on the wrong end of 30 now.
Ranti Martins (Prayag United)
The Nigerian’s decision to end his successful spell with Dempo and join Prayag United didn’t produce the I-League trophy but individually he didn’t do much wrong as for the third straight season, he finished as the highest scorer. Ranti netted 27 for fourth-placed Prayag this term, thus making it a staggering return of 89 goals over three seasons.
The star striker has certainly done justice to his heavy price tag and perhaps increased it further for next season. Without his goals, the purple shirts would have possibly finished in the bottom half of the table and considering the ongoing financial troubles of the Kolkata club, they could struggle to retain this Nigerian goal machine for the 2013-14 I-League.
Edeh Chidi (East Bengal)
Ranti was the best striker over the course of the season but Chidi was undoubtedly numero uno in the second half of the campaign and by far, East Bengal’s player of the season. This Nigerian has scored 17 goals in 18 starts in the I-League and AFC Cup since the turn of the year and such great form has seen him get a new lucrative contract at East Bengal.
Chidi has been around in the Indian football scene for a long time now but many, including this writer, had questioned his ability of being prolific without the support of a quality strike partner. Chidi has answered his critics the best possible way by often single-handedly keeping East Bengal in the hunt for the title.
All Photo Credits: AIFF Media