2016 has been a good year for Indian football. For the first time ever, we saw an Indian club reach the final of a continental event, with Bengaluru FC reaching the final of the AFC Cup. The national team, too, didn’t do really badly for themselves.
The national team played six matches this year, winning four of them. The highlight was the first win of the year, as captain marvel Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua inspired the Blue Tigers to a 2-1 win against Afghanistan in the final of the SAFF Cup.
That was followed by two losses against Iran and Turkmenistan in the last two 2018 World Cup qualifiers, but the Asian Cup qualification got off to a good start with a 7-1 aggregate win over Laos, that was embellished by a 6-1 second leg win in Guwahati. They also played non-AFC opponents for the first time in a long time as Puerto Rico were dispatched 4-1 in the first international match at the Mumbai Football Arena.
But, in this piece we take a look at the goalkeepers – ten of the best custodians from the country. We asked our readers to rank the best goalkeeper in India and this is how you voted:
The top-ranked player on each list is given ten points and the bottom-ranked is given one point. The average of the two was taken to arrive at our final ranking. In case two players are on the same number of points, the Sportskeeda team’s ranking is given preference.
#10 Albino Gomes (Readers’ Ranking – 10th)
Average Score – 1
Gomes is among the brightest young prospects for India, but his 2016 was spent more on the bench than on the pitch. That would do his development as a player no harm, though.
In the I-League, he played for Salgaocar, but the Goan club played Gomes in only one I-League game. Where he truly impressed in 2016 was in the four games that he played for Mumbai City FC in the ISL. He kept two clean sheets in those four games and made some fabulous saves, none more than the one against Atletico de Kolkata, as he helped his side hold on to a 1-0 lead.
In his time at Mumbai, he would’ve learnt a lot from training with fellow goalkeepers Roberto Netto and Amrinder Singh, which would have done his game an awful lot of good.
One thing is for certain, though, he will not be playing for the same I-League club in 2017 as Salgaocar have pulled out of the I-League.