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ISL 2017: 7 former World Cup Winners who graced the tournament

Del Piero won the World Cup with Italy
Del Piero won the World Cup with Italy
Sarthak Sharma
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The ISL has given us plenty of memories in just three short seasons. In a matter of three years, the league has gone from cricket-wannabe to a truly international competition, with this season's winners having the added incentive of joining the AFC Cup next season.

Over the course of these three seasons, the ISL has had its fair share of top International talent, with some of the world's best players making their way to the subcontinent owing to the massive amounts of money invested in the league along with being a part of something big in India the likes of which have never been seen before.

As a result of this mass spending and investment, in just three years, we have been lucky to witness true superstars of the game, something which was definitely unimaginable just a few years ago. Nonetheless, the system of marquee signings brought mainstream attention to the ISL which was just the push it needed to go global in every sense of the word.

The scouting of International talent brought Indian viewers players they may have never thought possible and some of these players were so good in their heyday that they even lifted the illustrious FIFA World Cup as active participants.

Out of the total seven World Cup winners to have played in the ISL, two each have played for the Delhi Dynamos and FC Goa. FC Pune City, Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United FC have one member from the club each.

If you're wondering who they are, just take a look below.

#7 Joan Capdevila (NorthEast United FC)

Capdevila played for Spain and NorthEast
Capdevila played for Spain and NorthEast

Joan Capdevila is a name that often gets lost in the shuffle but his impact in the Spain squad was undoubted when the team won the FIFA World Cup in 2010. The defender played every game of the winning campaign for his country and surprisingly made his way to India in 2014, joining NorthEast United in the ISL. The defender will be fondly remembered for his sensational goals from left-back every now and then in the red of Spain. Capdevila even won the 2008 Euros with Spain making him one of the most decorated players from the side's squad.

#6 Roberto Carlos (Delhi Dynamos FC)

Carlos played for Brazil and Delhi
Carlos played for Brazil and Delhi

Roberto Carlos is a true legend of Brazilian football and the defender was part of the incredible Brazil squad that boasted the likes of Kaka, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo. The frightening 'banana' free-kicks of Carlos made him a hero and he lifted the 2002 World Cup with the team.

His 2015 arrival to the ISL with Delhi Dynamos was highly anticipated and though he only made 3 appearances, his legacy has been firmly established in the Indian sub continent as a great player and a magnificent manager for the Delhi outfit.

#5 Robert Pires (FC Goa)

Pires played for France and Goa
Pires played for France and Goa

Robert Pires is remembered most for his contributions to Arsenal and for his phenomenal skill with the ball at his feet. That talent shone through in the 1998 FIFA World Cup as Pires danced his way to the very top of the mountain with the National team. His victory with France was coupled with his regular wins at Arsenal and that was enough to call him a legend in the game. His 2014 arrival at FC Goa lifted spirits around the nation like never before and his captaincy made the Gaurs a force to be reckoned with.

#4 David Trezeguet (FC Pune City)

Trezeguet played for France and Pune
Trezeguet played for France and Pune

French striker David Trezeguet can be considered a Juventus legend for his priceless contributions to the Italian club, but is also remembered for his role in the 1998 FIFA World Cup win for his national team. Trezeguet joined a squad boasting the likes of Henry and Vieira and the striker managed to score in the tournament, etching his name in French folklore.

He joined FC Pune City towards the end of his career and capped off a truly magnificent career in the sport. Although he could not win the ISL title, he will always e remembered as one of the best players to have set foot on the ISL turf.

#3 Marco Materazzi (Chennaiyin FC)

Materazzi played for Italy and Chennaiyin
Materazzi played for Italy and Chennaiyin

There is no doubt that Materazzi's name brings an infamous memory to everyone's minds, that of his scuffle with Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final. Apart from the incident however, Materazzi had firmly established himself as a mainstay in the Italian defensive midfield region and the 2006 victory gave him a coveted World Cup-winning medal, no matter the circumstances.

He joined Chennaiyin FC in 2014 and became a player-manager for the club soon after. Althoug he played in the ISL for one season only, Materazzi went on to coach Chennaiyin till season 3. He showed his winning mentality in India as well, clinching the ISL title for the Super Machans in 2015.

#2 Lucio (FC Goa)

Lucio played for Brazil and Goa
Lucio played for Brazil and Goa

Lucio lifted the World Cup with Brazil back in 2002 where the team dominated the tournament from start to finish. His leadership skills from defence are often considered his best traits and his 2015 hisarrival at FC Goa proved that he still has plenty left in the tank. That very year, Lucio helped FC Goa reach the final of the ISL, where they eventually lost out to Chennaiyin FC in a thrilling match.

The Brazilian defender raked up top honours throughout his career including a Champions League win with club side Inter Milan in 2010. A legend in every sense of the word.

#1 Alessandro Del Piero (Delhi Dynamos

Del Piero played for Italy and Delhi
Del Piero played for Italy and Delhi

Alessandro Del Piero made his presence felt in a sensational career for Juventus and emulated that for his national team when the 2006 FIFA World Cup came around. Such was Del Piero's impact throughout the tournament that the striker took a penalty and scored in the final against France, ultimately leading to Italy winning the Cup.

He joined the ISL in 2014 as a part of Delhi Dynamos and even scored for the team before calling it quits on a wonderful career as a footballer. However, he did come in for some criticism during his time with the Dynamos, where he failed to create the magic that he had shown at Juventus, before. Perhaps age had finally caught up with him.

Edited by Soumo Ghosh
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