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ISL 2016: 10 Best Players in Indian Super League this season

Top 5 / Top 10
23 Sep 2016, 22:30 IST

Florent Malouda

The 3rd edition of the Indian Super League is almost upon us. Indian football’s biggest extravaganza is set to have a star-studded chapter. The tournament begins on 1st October when NorthEast United FC takes on Kerala Blasters at Guwahati.

The pre-season preparations of all teams are in full swing with most of them opting to have a stint overseas. Defending champions Chennaiyin FC will be plotting to retain their hard-fought title while the challengers have bolstered their ranks with quality players. 

It is not just the high profile players who are the attraction but also the presence of a high-class array of coaches which lends a measure of credibility to the 3-month long tournament. With coaches of the calibre of Zico, Gianluca Zambrotta, Marco Materazzi, Steve Coppell, Antonio Habas etc, the season promises to be a high-octane one.

Besides the marquee players, the teams have also adopted a calculated approach to player recruitment, which is sure to raise the standard of the league. 

Though Chennaiyin FC have not been able to retain the services of last year’s Hero of the League John Steven Mendoza, who now plays for New York City FC in MLS, there is no dearth of big names in the tournament. Let’s take a look at the 10 players to watch out for in this year’s ISL.  

#10 Florent Malouda (Delhi Dynamos) 

Former Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda was the creative force behind Delhi Dynamos’ sparkling run to the semifinals last year, where they lost out to FC Goa. It was no surprise to see the Frenchman being retained as a ‘marquee’ player by the Delhi outfit as they seek to land their first ISL title this year.

In fact, the EPL winner looked to be in fantastic form during Delhi’s pre-season games this time out. Malouda, who was capped by France about 80 times, has been playing for Egyptian side Wadi Degla since January this year. He has scored 3 goals for them in 16 appearances and looks to be match fit. 

The 36-year-old has shown that he still has the quality to control games from the middle of the field rather than from out wide as he did during his heydeys. Delhi’s fortunes this season will definitely revolve around Malouda who is certain to be one of the fixed names in Zambrotta’s starting lineup. 

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