Premier Futsal League: 6 Indian players who have shone in the tournament

Chanpreet (left) has been instrumental for Mumbai 5s

Mohammed Islam (Kolkata)

Islam created history when he scored against Goa 5s as the first Indian goal-scorer at Premier Futsal. His goal came in Kolkata 5s opening day 4-2 win over Goa 5s. He showed good combination play and a terrific work rate for a Kolkata side that seemed to embody the concept of working hard for your teammates more than anyone else. His effort was seen throughout the tournament. He showed great composure for a youngster in the semi-finals but unfortunately, he was unable to take Kolkata through.

Chanpreet (Mumbai)

Mumbai 5s’ defender Chanpreet has taken the opportunity to lead Mumbai’s defense with glee and has been a vital player for his team. His composure at the back has helped the Mumbai team send their international stars forward to attack.

When Chanpreet is on the pitch, notable players like Foglia and Ryan Giggs are comfortable in going forward to join the attack. However, in his absence, either Foglia or Giggs is forced to start an attack from behind.

He has on many occasions contributed to the attack, especially against Chennai when his team were trailing by a goal. He also scored against Kochi 5s to help his team win 6-4. He showed great stamina to track back and defend for his team when Chennai won possession back.

He was brave enough to attempt a shot whenever he was provided with space and has managed to trouble the goalkeepers on many occasions. When Mumbai’s keeper Luis Almado decided to join the attack, Chanpreet stayed back to defend his goal as the last man. He was Mumbai’s most trusted Indian player throughout the tournament and was vital in their victories throughout the tournament.

Anupam (Kochi)

For Kochi, the standout Indian player has to be Anupam. The youngster caught the eye despite Kochi’s futsal being dominated by the legendary Michel Salgado and his trusted sidekicks in Gelabert and Moraes. Anupam helped the Kochi teams in both defense and attack.

When the team was chasing a goal against Chennai, Anupam found himself as the furthest man on the field and attempted to slot the ball into the goal with a splendid back-heel shot by using the momentum of the pass. When Kochi got their goal, Anupam was solid in defense by always marking a player. It is a testament to his importance throughout the tournament as he featured in both the semifinals and the finals.

His contributions on the pitch were important for a Kochi side that wasn’t blessed with as much flair and style as the other teams in the tournament but rather, depended on discipline and grit.

Jonathan Piers (Bengaluru)

jonathan piers
Piers (left) has made his mark with a couple of strong showings

The 19-year-old Bangalore boy made a mark on the tournament with his strong showings. A member of the Bengaluru FC U-19 side, the powerfully built youngster is essentially a defender but was an imposing presence up front for his Bengaluru side after being asked to do so by the coach.

He scored a goal in each of his outings, all three of them well-taken efforts and was the leading Indian goal scorer at the tournament. Most admirably, he showed a very level head and took a bold approach to the games, unafraid of going up against some of the biggest names in the world.

As Bengaluru’s highest goal-scorer and arguably best player, Jonathan gives Indian football hope and was deservingly awarded the ‘Best Indian Player of the Tournament’ award.

Fredsan Marshall (Goa)

The Goan lad is another Indian who has impressed for his hometown side, Goa 5s. He had a goal to his name when he scored in the second game where Ronaldinho scored five. He was very good playing up top combining well in the forward area and helped his team in attack showing good touch.

He was picked in Goa’s key games and did not disappoint. With his speed and quick feet, he managed to trouble the Kochi defense in the semifinals.

S Nannda (Chennai)

In every tournament, there are players who play very well but end up with nothing to show for it, though. Nannda was one such performer for Chennai. He and Haroon were the go-to guys as far as Indian players for Chennai and Nannda did very well.

He showed the best touch of the Indian guys, possessing the ability to beat players with his footwork. He was close to scoring a few times and had a hand in setting up a few goals.

He finally got a goal to his name in Chennai’s last game against Kochi and deservingly so. Despite Chennai rotating their Indian players often, Nannda was the best of the bunch and was one of the players who could have flourished if he was given more playing time.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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