With the Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League having concluded their affairs, the 2020-21 season of Indian Football will culminate with India's FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Qatar. The senior national team played a 1-1 draw against Oman and will take on UAE on Monday to prepare for the upcoming Qualifiers.
The national teams of other countries were also in action, featuring some familiar names from the ISL and I-League. Here, we look at 6 foreign players from I-League and ISL who received a call-up to their national teams.
#6 Komron Tursunov (TRAU FC - Tajikistan)
Komron etched his name in the history books when he scored for TRAU FC within 7 seconds to score the fastest goal in I-League history. Partnering with Bidyashagar Singh upfront, the Tajikistan international scored 6 goals and bagged 6 assists in the 2020/21 season.
TRAU FC finished third in the I-League after losing 1-4 to Gokulam Kerala on the final matchday. Needless to say, the club missed the services of Komron in the crunch encounter.
The 24-year-old played the full ninety minutes against Mongolia in Tajikistan's international friendly match on Thursday. Tajikistan won the match 3-0 and the victory catapulted them to second spot in Group E of Asian FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
#5 Jamal Bhuyan (Mohammedan Sporting Club - Bangladesh)
Jamal Bhuyan was an integral part of Mohammedan Sporting Club's side this season in the I-League. The defensive midfielder played 12 matches since joining the club on loan from Bangladesh's Saif Sporting Club.
Bhuyan is the captain of the Bangladesh national team and received a call-up to face Kyrgyzstan's U-23 team as well as Nepal in the Three Nations Cup. He led his team to a 1-0 victory in the first match against Kyrgyzstan before playing a goalless draw against Nepal. Bangladesh will take on Nepal in the final on Monday.
#4 Judah Garcia (NEROCA - Trinidad & Tobago)
NEROCA were relegated from the I-League this season after picking up just 8 points from 14 matches. However, their midfielder Judah Garcia received a call-up to represent his country Trinidad & Tobago.
In the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers, the Soca Warriors beat Guyana 3-0 on Friday and Judah made an appearance off the bench. They will take on Puerto Rico on Monday in their next game.
#3 Khassa Camara (NorthEast United FC - Mauritania)
After helping NorthEast United FC reach the semi-finals of ISL, Khassa Camara received a call-up to represent Mauritania. The defensive midfielder made 110 tackles, 50 interceptions and 26 blocks in 21 matches for the Highlanders and also came up with one assist.
Camara played the full ninety minutes against the 33rd ranked Morocco side as his team played out a 0-0 draw. Mauritania will play against the Central African Republic on Tuesday, where a victory would guarantee them a berth in the African Cup of Nations.
#2 Roland Alberg (Hyderabad FC - Suriname)
After representing the U-18 and U-20 teams of the Netherlands, Roland Alberg received a call-up to represent Suriname in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Alberg joined ISL club Hyderabad FC in the January transfer window on loan from Dutch club Roda JC Kerkrade and scored one goal in eight matches.
The 30-year-old made his international debut against the Cayman Islands on Wednesday, where his side won the match 3-0. Against Aruba, Alberg scored a blistering long-range goal to help Suriname beat them by a margin of 6-0.
#1 Nerijus Valskis (Jamshedpur FC - Lithuania)
Despite winning the Golden Boot award in the 2019-20 season of ISL with Chennaiyin FC, Nerijus Valskis didn't receive a national team call-up. Valskis signed a two-year contract with Jamshedpur FC and scored 8 goals in 18 matches for his new side.
For his consistent performance over the last two ISL seasons, Valskis received a national team call-up for Lithuania. Valskis made a substitute appearance against Kosovo in an international friendly match on Thursday, which his side lost by a margin of 4-0.
Lithuania will face Switzerland and Italy later this month in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.