Sportskeeda Awards 2018: Who was the best in Indian football?
The year 2018 passed by in no time, granting us with a large pool of memories from the very first day in terms of the action that surrounded Indian football.
From Kashmir's emergence as a serious force in the top-flight, Indian Olympic Association's initial decision to not allow the national team to ply their trade in the Asian Games, the Continental Cup triumph and Sunil Chhetri's goal-scoring record to the SAFF Championship exploits, Gourav Mukhi's age controversy and Star Sports' settlement to telecast selected I-League matches, the calendar year had it all.
Most importantly, the nation continued to take giant strides towards larger recognition and self-furnishing.
Along with the management’s contributions, Stephan Constantine’s constant tactical developments and the burgeoning rise of the Indian Super League, a lot comes down to the players to supply the goods and up the levels of the quality of the beautiful game in India.
Both the I-League and ISL continued to produce fantastic talent over the course of the year, but a few players really took on the responsibility on their shoulders. With each passing game, these professionals developed a spring in their step and exhibited match-winning performances on a consistent basis.
We conducted a poll asking the fans who they thought was the best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and forward of the year 2018. Below are the winners chosen by you:
#1 Best Goalkeeper - Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
No prizes for guessing, the best goalkeeper is none other than India's distinguished number 1, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Apart from Sunil Chhetri, if there is one player who is worthy of constituting the Blue Tigers' spine, it's the Bengaluru FC shot-stopper.
He was up against his national teammate and Mumbai City FC glove man Amrinder Singh, but comprehensively beat him with 66% show of hands. Since his switch to the Kanteerava Stadium, the Punjab goalie has gone from strength to strength.
This season as well, he has been a vital cog in BFC's tight defence, which has only shipped 9 goals in 11 outings. With four clean sheets and a staggering save percentage of 77.8%, Gurpreet is setting the stage on fire in this edition of the ISL too.
For the national side, his jaw-dropping saves against China are a true example of the player's potential, importance and excellence. Enough said.