ISL 2018-19: Team of Season 5 of Indian Super League - Sahal Samad, Chhetri and Coro headline squad
The Hero Indian Super League came to an end in dramatic fashion as Rahul Bheke scored the winner for Bengaluru FC late into extra time against FC Goa to give the Blues their maiden ISL trophy at the Mumbai Football Arena.
The season saw many players shine in the 95 matches played throughout the tournament. While the usual Indian performers like Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Subhashish Bose and many others kept up their good work, other talents like Bheke, Nishu Kumar, Jerry Mawihmingthanga showed why they should be in the Indian national football team.
On the other hand, foreign players like Ferran Corominas, Batholomew Ogbeche, Lucian Goian brought forth their experience and skill to guide their respective teams to the semi-final stage of the tournament.
With this array of fabulous players at our disposal this season, it was a tough decision to choose only the 11 best players. But after hours of selection, the team of the season for the Hero ISL 2018/19 campaign has been chosen.
Here we go!
(Please note: This is the author's Best XI and not necessarily Sportskeeda's picks)
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC)
The Bengaluru FC and Indian national team goalkeeper bagged the golden glove for this season as he secured 7 clean sheets and 61 saves in 20 games. He had a phenomenal stat of 96.32 minutes per goal conceded, 16.32 minutes higher than FC Goa's Naveen Kumar, who was the runner-up for the golden glove.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was a huge presence in the box throughout the tournament as he has claimed many high balls and punched the ball out of danger on several occasions. This awareness from the 27-year-old has made him cement the No 1 spot for the national team through the past year.
Although compatriot Amrinder Singh had an amazing season as well for Mumbai City FC, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu takes the spot between the posts in the team of the season.
Right-Back - Rahul Bheke (Bengaluru FC)
The Bengaluru FC right-back didn't make the Indian squad that travelled to UAE for the Asia Cup this January. This decision from Stephen Constantine sparked criticism amongst the fans all over the country.
Bheke proved just how much of an asset he would have been with his performances for Bengaluru FC this season. Often scoring decisive goals fro Bengaluru FC, Rahul Bheke was a solid defender throughout the tournament and was also a huge threat going forward. This has probably been the best season of his career and with performances like this, it won't be surprising to see him dawn the Blue jersey of the national team.
Centre-back - Lucian Goian (Mumbai City)
It was the Romanian defender's third season in the Indian Super League and his amazing defensive abilities were on display once again. He has by far been the most consistent defender in the league which is also one of the factors for his inclusion in the team of the season.
With 187 clearances, 82 tackles and 33 interceptions, Goian has been an absolute powerhouse of a defender which saw Mumbai City FC grab eight clean sheets through the tournament.
Centre-back - Tiri (Jamshedpur FC)
If Lucian Goian was the best defensive defender of the league this season, his centre half partner is the most offensively impacting defender of the league this season.
With 845 passes and 1150 touches, TIri controlled the pace of the game for Jamshedpur FC. He was no slouch when it came to defending either with 164 clearances and 33 interceptions. He had a great season with Jamshedpur FC and is turning out to be one the club's icons.
Left-back - Nishu Kumar (Bengaluru FC)
Bengaluru FC has their own fair share of Indian talent with the likes of Rahul Bheke, Udanta Singh, Kean Lewis and youngsters like Boithang. But one youngster who stood out this tournament was Nishu Kumar.
The left-back showed great passion, immense work rates and at times, sheer quality to assist Bengaluru FC in their road to their maiden ISL trophy. His piledriver of a goal against Jamshedpur FC remains one of the best goals of Bengaluru FC this season.