Top 5 foreigners to play in Indian football
Indian Football has always had its own fairytales, with some protagonists from within the country and some from beyond the borders. Football has always been known to break boundaries and it has done similarly in the pretext of Indian setup too.
The I-League currently allows 4 foreigners to play for a club, including an Asian. Thus, all the teams strengthen their sides with important additions in the various departments of the game. From Belo Rasaq to Sony Norde, no football fan can deny their importance to their squads.
Here, we bring you the finest foreigners to have ever played in the country. Read on and leave your comments:
#5 Odafa Okolie (2003, 2005 - Current)
The tale of a folklore began in 2003, when Mohammedan Sporting signed a fresh-faced 18-year-old teenager by the name of Odafa Onyeka Okolie. Such was the dire state of the Kolkata club at that time that Odafa had to play as a centre-back. Irritated at the response he received, Odafa went to Bangladesh to play for Muktijoddha. Odafa was always known to have amazing goal-scoring abilities, which were being wasted on the Kolkata Maidan.
In 2005, legendary Indian coach Mihir Bose suggested Odafa’s name to Goan club Churchill Brothers, who invited the player back to the country and Odafa began his story then. Turning into an unstoppable goal-scoring machine, Odafa Okolie has a strike-rate comparable to the German magician, Gerd Mueller. Odafa is probably the most complete striker ever to play in India. A burly striker with sublime skill-sets, Odafa is an automatic choice for any coach. Leading the line, Odafa seldom drops back for link-up plays or support to the defence.
You can’t complain much when a player does his job well, and Odafa does that to perfection—scoring truckload of goals. You create half-a-chance for him, and he’ll more often than not, convert it. Odafa has top scored in the I-league for four consecutive seasons, which says it all. The striker is the second highest scorer in both I-League and NFL combined, which speaks a lot about his scoring prowess.
A no-nonsense attitude, Odafa is a complete dominatrix in the box. Equally adept with both feet and the head, Odafa can bamboozle any defence in the box. These abilities made him the costliest footballer ever in Indian football when Mohun Bagan signed him for Rs. 3 crore. Currently, Odafa is playing for Sporting Clube De Goa.
Odafa has the record of the maximum number of hat-tricks in Indian football, which is just another proof to his goal-scoring. Odafa already has a lot to his name and is one of the finest foreigners ever to play in India.