As the Indian Super League (ISL) has evolved, teams have become more expansive in their style of play. This has seen a significant increase in goals each year. There have been 1,269 goals scored in the ISL since the inception of the tournament, with recent seasons seeing many scoring records being broken.
From Brazilian strikers Elano and Marcelino, the Spaniard Coro, and Fijian Roy Krishna, many players have bagged the league's Golden Boot over the years. Let’s take a look at five contenders for the golden boot in the upcoming season.
1) Roy Krishna (ATK Mohun Bagan)
Roy Krishna was a key component of the ATK side that lifted the title the previous season. 33-year-old Krishna scored 15 goals in his debut season in the ISL.
Roy Krishna has now been named ATK Mohun Bagan captain for the upcoming season. His knack for goals makes him a clear favourite for securing the Golden Boot this season as well.
2) Nerijus Valskis (Jamshedpur FC)
Nerijus Valskis' first season with the ISL ended in honours as he shared the golden boot with Roy Krishna. His 15 goals in 20 appearances for Chennaiyin FC made him a rather hot commodity in the transfer market, and he signed with Jamshedpur FC for this year's season.
The 33-year-old Lithuanian enters a Jamshedpur FC side with immense talent, and will be expected to partner David Grande in attack.
3) Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)
At 36, many would think that the incumbent Bengaluru FC skipper has lost a few yards of pace. However, since the inception of the Bengaluru-based club in 2013, Chhetri’s consistency has seen him lead the scoring charts as far as Indian players in the ISL are concerned.
In the 74 matches Chhetri has played since the inception of the ISL, he has managed to score 39 goals, putting him behind only Coro in the rankings. It would be rather fitting that Chhetri become the first Indian to win the Golden Boot, underlining his credentials as a top footballer in the country.
4) Aridane Santana (Hyderabad FC)
While Odisha FC might have had a rather indifferent season last year, Spaniard Aridane Santana was certainly a positive. With 9 goals from 14 matches, Santana reinforced his abilities as a top striker by linking up well with the likes of Xisco Hernandez and Manuel Onwu.
This season, however, he finds himself a part of Hyderabad FC. Under new head coach Manolo Marquez, it seems as though the best of the 33-year-old Spanish striker is yet to come. The best might very well mean a Golden Boot award.
5) Hugo Boumous (Mumbai City FC)
Hugo Boumous is among the most promising midfielders in the ISL. He is tipped to become one of the greats of the ISL, and stands an outside chance of securing the golden boot.
The 25-year-old French-Morrocan’s pace means he slots in well as a second striker, a position he excelled in during his previous two seasons with FC Goa. Having signed for Mumbai City FC this season, he will be keen on replicating his form from last season where he finished with 11 goals and 10 assists.Published 22 Sep 2020, 19:49 IST