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ISL: Who were awarded "Hero of the League" in the previous editions of the ISL?

Dating back to 2014, the Hero of the League award was first awarded to Iain Hume. Who were the others who won it after him?

ISL: Who were awarded Hero of the League in the previous editions of the ISL?
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The Golden Ball recipients of the Indian Super League. 

By

Sattyik Sarkar

Published: 6 Oct 2021 6:38 AM GMT

Since the inauguration of the Indian Super League in 2014, 7 players from 6 different countries of 3 different continents have won the Hero of the League or to be more precise the Golden Ball award. The Hero of the League, an annual award, is provided to the best player of that particular season. Here are the players who have won it in the past.

1) 2014 - Iain Hume (Kerala Blasters FC)

The first ever recipient of the Hero of the League award was the Canadian Iain Hume. The former Barnsley striker had undergone an operation because of a fractured skull in 2008 when Chris Morgan of Sheffield United elbowed him in the head in a South Yorkshire Derby. Not only did Hume score 5 goals in 16 matches but also won hearts of the Kerala Blasters FC fans through his energetic and overwhelming performance. Later on, he plied his trade in other ISL clubs like Atletico de Kolkata and FC Pune City.


Iain Hume (Image Source: theweek.in)

2) 2015 - Stiven Mendoza (Chennaiyin FC)

Winning both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball in the second edition of the Indian Super League, Stiven Mendoza remains a footballer to be unforgotten. Perhaps he is the second footballer after Emeka Ezeugo, who after returning from his trade in India back to his country had won a chance to showcase his skills for the national team. Mendoza scored 13 goals for Chennaiyin FC and performed exceptionally well throughout the season.


Stiven Mendoza( Image Source: sportco.io)

3) 2016 - Florent Malouda (Delhi Dynamos)

Did anyone ever think the former French international would ever come to India? Did anyone imagine the Chelsea star winning the Hero of the League award? A player who has played alongside legends like Zinedine Zidane, came to India in 2015 and did a "veni vidi vici" in that very season (went on to win the Golden Ball). The French left-winger who has 80 appearances for France, played for the Delhi Dynamos till 2017 before leaving the country and joining FC Differdange 03 in 2018 (in 2016 he joined Wadi Degla on a loan transfer from the team from the capital city of India).

Florent Malouda (Image Source: ISL Media)

4) 2017/18 - Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC)

As on date, Sunil Chhetri, the skipper of both Bengaluru FC and the Indian National team remains to be the only Indian footballer to have won the Hero of the League award. Sunil Chhetri played 21 matches in that season and netted the ball 14 times and provided 2 assists for his teammates. Regardless of Chhetri's performance that season, this may be a worrying sign for Indian football, as the recipients of this award are mostly foreigners. The quality of Indian footballers has surely improved, but unless more of them start winning this award, it can't be accurately stated that India is developing in football.

Sunil Chhetri (Image Source: Bengaluru FC Media)

5) 2018/19 - Ferran Corominas (FC Goa)

Form is temporary. Class is permanent. If these phrases need appropriate examples, a picture of Coro shall be provided along with them. A striker who only scored 5 goals in 18 matches in 2016/17, came to India (FC Goa) the next season and ruled the Indian Super League for the next two seasons scoring 18 goals in 20 matches in 2018/19 and also won the Golden Boot award. In 2019/20, he scored 16 goals i n 20 matches for the Goan outfit. He went on to win the Hero of the League in 2018/19 and was perhaps the most deserving candidate for it.

Ferran Corominas (Image Source: ISL Media)

6) 2019/20 - Hugo Boumous (FC Goa)

FC Goa are the only club whose players have won the Golden Ball twice, first with Coro in 2018/19, then with the Frenchman Hugo Boumous in 2019/20. Such a tricky customer in the middle of the park, Hugo Boumous probably doesn't let defenders peacefully sleep the night before the game. Boumous played 15 matches in the sixth edition of the ISL and scored 11 goals and provided 10 assists. He currently is a part of ATK Mohun Bagan foreign contingent and recently appeared in their AFC Cup campaign where he made his debut against Bengaluru FC.

Hugo Boumous (Image Source: befoot.net)

7) 2020/21 - Roy Krishna (ATK Mohun Bagan)

Roy Krishna went on to win the Hero of the League in the seventh edition of the Indian Super League. The Fijian forward is class apart and can be rightly termed as a nightmare for opposition defenders. Krishna's reputation is warning enough for the opponents as he relishes in scoring goals and it seems like he has a habit of doing it everyday. Roy Krishna scored 14 goals in 23 matches for the Kolkata giants last season and is expected to do the same this season as well. Recently, the ATK Mohun Bagan star's name was mentioned in a reputed magazine, World Soccer, in it's list of most important 500 footballers of the world.

Roy Krishna (Image Source: sportzpicks)

Whom do you think shall be winning it this time? Will Roy Krishna be the first player to win it twice a row or will someone else bag it home? Or will an Indian footballer win it this time?

All questions will be answered after the ISL 2021/22 ends. The season kicks off on 19th November, 2021 with ATK Mohun Bagan playing Kerala Blasters FC at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Goa.

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