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ISL 2022-23: From Spain to Syria, where do the foreign players hail from?

Spain accounts for the highest number of foreign players across clubs ahead of the 2022-23 season of the Indian Super League.

ISL 2022-23: From Spain to Syria, where do the foreign players hail from?

Which countries have the most representation in the ISL 2022-23 season?


Aswathy Santhosh

Published: 5 Oct 2022 5:46 PM GMT

Indian Super League from its inception has seen players from all corners of the world. One of the most important reasons behind the growing popularity of ISL across the world was the presence of legends from the very beginning. From Roberto Carlos to Marco Materazzi, the global superstars who represented Indian Clubs are plenty.

In the inaugural season, While it will surprise nobody that France (11) and Spain (11) have seen the most players play in the Indian super league, the true fascination lies in the one-offs.

There were seventeen nations as diverse as Senegal, Burkina Faso, Zambia and Equatorial Guinea, that has seen one-player representation. The number and diversity of nations changed over the years. Brazilians dominated the league by a good margin till the third season and after that their representation dropped.

From the 2017/18 season, tiki-taka fever took the league by storm and their Spanish representation in the ISL never dropped below 20%, with Brazil coming second.

Here's a look into the natione-wise representation ahead of the 2022-23 season of the ISL:

(Note that the countries for whom these players play internationally have been counted, not their nationality)

Spain (15)

In the first three seasons, the number of Spanish players in the Indian super league was not the highest, but the fourth season was a trendsetter. We saw the likes of Tiri, Ferran Corominas and Edu Bedia setting the league on fire and that may have acted an catalyst for the clubs to sign more Spanish players.

The upcoming season of Hero ISL will see 15 Spaniards with the highest number representing FC Goa and Odisha FC (4 each).

• Ivan Gonzalez (East Bengal )

• Javi Hernandez (Bengaluru FC)

• Carlos Delgado (Odisha FC)

• Víctor Rodríguez (Odisha FC)

• Pedro Martín (Odisha FC)

• Alberto Noguera (Mumbai City FC)

• Jon Gaztañaga (Northeast United FC)

• Víctor Mongil (Kerala Blasters)

• Marc Valiente (FC Goa)

• Edu Bedia (FC Goa)

• Iker Guarrotxena (FC Goa)

• Álvaro Vázquez (FC Goa)

• Odei Onaindia (Hyderabad FC)

• Borja Herrera (Hyderabad FC).

• Javi Siverio (Hyderabad FC)

• Saul Crespo (Odisha FC)

Australia (10)

Australia was not a favourite scouting spot for the ISL clubs, which changed after the 3+1 rule came into power. Without a question, the first and the most recognisable Australian player to grace the league was Erik Paartalu, followed by David Williams in 2019.

This season, ten Australians will grace the field this season.

• Jordan O'Doherty (East Bengal)

• Aleksandar Jovanovic (Bengaluru FC)

• Osama Malik (Odisha FC)

• Rostyn Griffiths (Mumbai City FC)

• Aaron Evans (Northeast United FC)

• Apostolos Giannou (Kerala Blasters FC)

• Harry Sawyer (Jamshedpur FC)

• Joel Chianese (Hyderabad FC)

• Brendan Hamill (ATKMB )

• Dimitri Petratos (ATKMB)

Brazil (9)

The third season of Hero Indian Super League saw the most number of Brazilians (24) and if we compare the percentage of representation from the 2016/17 season to the upcoming season, there's a huge drop from 27% to 14%.

Elano Blumer and Roberto Carlos are some of the Brazilian superstars who left their mark in India. In season 9 of Hero ISL, there are nine Brazucas representing different clubs with East Bengal having the most (3).

• Alex Lima (East Bengal FC)

• Cleiton Silva (East Bengal FC)

• Eliandro (East Bengal FC)

• Alan Costa (Bengaluru FC)

• Bruno Ramires (Bengaluru FC)

• Diego Maurício (Odisha FC)

• Eli Sabiá (Jamshedpur FC)

• Wellington Priori (Jamshedpur FC)

• João Victor (Hyderabad FC)

Morocco (3)

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about Morocco? For the Indian football fans, it has to be Ahmed Jahouh. Jahouh Joined FC Goa in the 2017/18 season and he's currently the captain of Mumbai City FC. While Hugo Boumous and Ahmed Jahou continue their legacy in India, Noah is the only new face.

•Ahmed Jahouh (Mumbai City FC)

•Noah Sadaoui (FC Goa)

•Hugo Boumous (ATKMB)

England (3)

The second season of the Indian Super League had the highest number of British players (10) so far in a single season. England Internationals David James, Wes Brown and Ryan Taylor are a few stars to grace the Indian Soil.

Based on the statistics it's safe to say that Indian Clubs are not necessarily keen on recruiting English players, with the high market value being one of the reasons. While Peter Hartley, the league winner continues with Jamshedpur FC they've added Jay Emmanuel to their attacking arsenal.

•Matt Derbyshire (Northeast United FC)

•Peter Hartley (Jamshedpur FC)

•Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Jamshedpur FC)

Nigeria (3)

Without a doubt, the most recognisable name from the total of ten Nigerians must be Bartholomew Ogbeche. Ogbeche has been racking up goals, netting 52 times from 77 games. Daniel Chim Chukwu played a crucial role in the success of the red miners.

•Sylvester Emeka (Northeast United FC)

•Daniel Chima Chukwu (Jamshedpur FC)

•Bartholomew Ogbeche (Hyderabad FC)

Croatia (2)

From the land of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitc, it's surprising to see the total number of Croatians to play in ISL over the years comes down to just 6.

A seventh is being added this season, thanks to the Marina Machans.

• Marko Leskovic (Kerala Blasters)

• Petar Sliskovic (Chennaiyin FC)

Senegal (2)

• Mourtada Fall (Mumbai City FC)

• Fallou Diagne (Chennaiyin FC)

Netherlands (1)

From a total of 11 players from Netherlands, a few familiar names must be of Gregory Nelson, Hans Mulder and Gianni Zuiverloon. ISL season 9 will have only one player from Netherlands representing Chennaiyin FC.

• Nasser El Khayati (Chennaiyin FC)

Cyprus (1)

• Charalampos Kyriakou (East Bengal)

Fiji (1)

• Roy Krishna (Bengaluru FC)

Congo (1)

• Prince Ibara (Bengaluru FC)

Argentina (1)

• Jorge Pereyra Díaz (Mumbai City FC)

Scotland (1)

•Greg Stewart (Mumbai City FC)

France (1)

•Romain Philippoteaux (Northeast United FC)

Denmark (1)

•Michael Jakobsen (Northeast United FC)

Ukraine (1)

• Ivan Kalyuzhnyi (Kerala Blasters FC)

Uruguay (1)

• Adrián Luna (Kerala Blasters FC)

Greece (1)

• Dimitrios Diamantakos (Kerala Blasters FC)

Guinea (1)

• Florentin Pogba (ATKMB)

Ireland (1)

• Carl McHugh (ATKMB)

Finland (1)

• Joni Kauko (ATKMB)

Iran (1)

• Vafa Hakhamaneshi (Chennaiyin FC)

Germany (1)

• Julius Düker (Chennaiyin FC)

Ghana (1)

•Kwame Karikari (Chennaiyin FC)

Syria (1)

• Fares Arnaout (FC Goa)

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