Indian Football Round-up: Best XI of 2018
What a roller-coaster year it has been for Indian football. With the national team qualifying for the Asian Cup after eight years, many new stories were written on the history books which mark the achievement of Indian football.
The most remarkable among them is the emergence of Real Kashmir FC, being the first team from the valley to appear in I-League.
Many stories were written about the team and they had worldwide coverage, putting Indian football on the map.
The Indian Super League saw Bengaluru FC make it to the final in their debut season. The club, formed only a few years ago, instilled high-level professionalism and success came instantly.
Minerva Punjab scripted another fairytale in the I-League by winning the I-League title, leaving behind perennial favourites likes East Bengal and Mohun Bagan.
Teams consist of players. Looking at the individual performances, we found some new stars. Also, the old ones gained more experience as India’s football future looks bright more than ever.
Sportskeeda brings you the best XI of the year considering the performance. This will include the foreign players too. The team will play on a 4-4-2 formation.
Goalkeeper: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Without any doubt, the Mohali-born is currently the best goalkeeper of the country, considering all talented and Indian foreign players.
Almost all Indian Super League and I-League teams choose Indians when it comes to the last man of defence.
Not all of them are a superstar as Gurpreet. The Bengaluru FC goalie has made a staggering 28 saves in 11 games and has conceded just eight goals, the least among all the ISL teams.
Gurpreet has four clean sheets to his name and has 77.77 saving percentage. On many occasions, when Bengaluru FC didn’t have a great day, Gurpreet saved his team single-handedly.
He has also been prolific with the national team. Against high-profile opponents like China, Gurpreet pulled off some scintillating saves to stop the neighbours from scoring.
With Volleyball and Cricket being his prime attraction in his childhood days, Gurpreet came to football on the insistence of local coaches at Punjab Cricket Academy for his height.
The former East Bengal player sharpened his skills with his stint with Norwegian club Stabaek FC.
After signing for Bengaluru FC, there is no looking back as he has become a valuable part of the team with his performances.