In all the years the Indian Super League (ISL) has been in existence, the goalkeeping on display has been impressive. It is also clear that the fitness and shot-stopping abilities of the goalkeepers in the league have increased dramatically over the years.
In fact, barring the inaugural season of the league, the Golden Glove has been predominantly claimed by goalkeepers from India, something which is an extremely encouraging sign of things to come.
As the league has progressed over the years, it is clear that most clubs favour Indian goalkeepers as opposed to custodians from other nations. That said, let's take a look at five goalkeepers with the most number of cleansheets in ISL history.
1) Subrata Pal
The name Subrata Pal has become synonymous with the grand narrative of Indian football. The 33-year-old's career in the labyrinths of the I-League and the ISL spanning over a decade has been one of excellence and solidity between the posts.
In fact, his greatest achievement came with Jamshedpur FC when he claimed the Golden Glove for the 2017-18 season with 7 cleansheets to his name in 18 appearances in the league.
So far, the 33-year-old has managed 26 cleansheets in the league, having played for Mumbai City FC, NorthEast United FC, and Jamshedpur FC. Most recently, he was signed by fledgling club Hyderabad FC as the latter looks to turn their fortunes following a bottom-of-the-table finish last season.
2) Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
It is safe to say that Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is the quintessential rising star of Indian football. Following a stint with Norwegian side Stabaek, the lanky custodian was signed by ISL side Bengaluru FC and has stayed at the club ever since.
In addition to this, Sandhu has also been an integral part of the national team, captaining the side on several occasions. The 28-year-old has won the Golden Glove in the last two seasons of the ISL, becoming the only player to have achieved this feat.
The 2019-20 season saw Sandhu set a record by keeping 11 cleansheets, the most by any keeper in a single season. So far, he has 25 cleansheets to his name and will be looking to add to his tally as the new season gets underway on the 21st of November.
3) Arindam Bhattacharya
Although Arindam Bhattacharya's career in recent years has waned, his presence between the sticks is reassuring for most defenders in the ISL. The 30-year-old made a good start to his career, making over 250 appearances for Churchill Brothers before the start of the ISL wave in Indian football.
However, in spite of this, Bhattacharya made himself the number one contender for the goalkeeping spot with ATK for the last two years with 19 cleansheets to his name. He will be looking to cement his spot in the team as ATK Mohun Bagan look set to make their debut in the ISL.
4) Amrinder Singh
Like Arindam Bhattacharya, it took 27-year-old Amrinder Singh a while before he could settle at a single club. In fact, Singh's career coincided with the advent of the ISL, something that came as a blessing and also a bane for the youngster.
Having been part of the ISL merry-go-round, Singh played for a bevy of clubs including ATK and Bengaluru FC before becoming the number one goalkeeping choice for Mumbai City FC.
So far, the 27-year-old has 19 cleansheets to his name and has also been handed the captain's armband on several occasions. He claimed the Golden Glove in 2016 with Mumbai City FC, having kept 6 cleansheets in the season.
5) Rehenesh TP
In the context of the upcoming 2020-21 ISL season, Rehenesh TP has been signed by Jamshedpur FC following the transfer of Subrata Pal to Hyderabad. Like Arindam Bhattacharya and Amrinder Singh, Rehenesh TP has had his fair share of ups and downs in the ISL and played for several clubs across the league.
Rehenesh TP's best performances seemingly came in the 2017 season, where he was perhaps the most prolific keeper, having made 47 saves for NorthEast United FC. His performances ensured that the club reached the semifinal for the first time in their history and also extended his contract for another two years.
Rehenesh TP most recently played for the Kerala Blasters and was their first-choice goalkeeper, having made 13 appearances in the previous season.Published 01 Oct 2020, 19:03 IST