All these players have shone like stars for their respective teams.

Since the first season, the Indian Super League has had a strong Spanish influence. So many Spanish footballers arrived in India but only a few of them have gone on to achieve massive success and leave an everlasting impact on the history of Indian football. Not just Ferran Corominas and Igor Angulo, several other footballers like Edu Bedia, Tiri and Juanan have graced Indian football and won the hearts of the Indian football fans. 

Here is Khel Now’s list of the top 10 Spanish footballers who graced the Indian Super League with their legacy.

10. Igor Angulo

Greek Cup top-scorer of 2014-15 joined ISL side FC Goa ahead of the 2020-21 season on a one-year contract. The prolific Spanish striker bagged the Golden Boot Award by scoring 14 goals in 21 outings and played a versatile role to help the Gaurs reach the semi-final. Notably, Igor Angulo was a youth product of Spanish club Athletic Bilbao!

The next year (2021-22), he moved to Mumbai City and became the joint second-highest scorer with 10 goals. But unfortunately, he missed Mumbai City’s AFC Champions League matches due to a calf strain.

9. Jofre Mateu

Jofre made his first team debut for the FC Barcelona youth team. Later, he joined Levante UD. After featuring for Rayo Vallecano, Real Valladolid, and Girona FC, the Spanish midfield maestro decided to move abroad and joined ATK for the first season of the Indian Super League and was one of the standout performers that season.

Jofre Mateu at ATK. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

In the next season, he moved to FC Goa and enjoyed a two-year stint with them, registering six goals and five assists in 23 outings. After an illustrating career, Jofre declared his retirement from professional football in January, 2017.

8. Manuel Lanzarote

The Spanish winger started his youth career with FC Barcelona. Lanzarote also featured for RCD Espanyol, one of the best clubs in Spain. He made a move to ISL side FC Goa in the 2017-18 season after delivering top-notch performances with Asteras Tripolis & Real Zaragoza. With the Gaurs, he netted 13 goals with six assists in 19 games. Next season, he moved to ATK and scored five goals in 14 appearances. His presence on the pitch was always a threat to the opposing team’s defence.

7. Juanan

Juan Gonzalez a.k.a Juanan joined Bengaluru FC ahead of one of their most memorable seasons. The club featured in the 2016 AFC Cup Final, with Juanan in the side. After the arrival of this Spanish centre-back, the defensive solidity was top-notch. He scored the winning goal against Johor Darul Ta’zim at the Fortress in the AFC Cup semi-final.

One of the longest-serving foreigners of Bengaluru FC, Juanan joined Hyderabad FC ahead of the 2021-22 season. The Spaniard has shown intense love for Bengaluru by tattooing the famous Shiva Temple on his sleeve.

6. Dimas Delgado

Dimas Delgado was a youth product of UDA Garment. After gaining experience in La Liga Segunda Division and A-League in Australia (represented Western Sydney Wanderers), the Spanish dead-ball expert joined ISL side Bengaluru FC. In his four-year stint with the Blues, the defensive midfielder scored four goals and lifted the ISL Trophy in the 2018-19 season.

5. Edu Bedia

Edu Bedia made his La Liga debut in 2008 for his hometown club Racing Santander. After spending his football career in several Spanish Clubs like Hércules CF, FC Barcelona Atlètic, and Real Zaragoza, the Spanish midfielder signed a two-year contract with ISL side FC Goa. Since joining, his creativity in midfield and contribution to goals has attracted Indian football fans.

Edu Bedia against ATK Mohun Bagan this season. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

In his second season with the Gaurs, he scored one goal and provided one assist in the game where the Gaurs lifted the League Winners’ Shield and became the first-ever Indian Club to secure direct entry to the 2021 AFC Championship League. He is one of the longest-serving foreigners in ISL.

The Spaniard has scored 11 goals and registered 15 assists in his five-year stint with the Gaurs. Bedia created history in the 2021 AFC Champions League by scoring FC Goa’s first goal of the campaign.

4. Edu Garcia

Eduardo Garcia Martin, fondly known as Edu Garcia, started his football career in his hometown club Zaragoza, Spain. After a few years with his home club, he made a move to India and joined ISL side Bengaluru FC in 2017. In his first stint in India, he scored two goals and five assists in 14 appearances.

He then moved to ATK and scored nine goals in 22 matches across two seasons. Garcia was one of the standout performers of ATK’s title-winning campaign in 2019-20. Post that, he made a move to Hyderabad FC ahead of the 2021-22 season after having a slump in his performance with ATK Mohun Bagan. He is currently contracted with Sichuan Jiuniu till the end of 2023.

3. Borja Fernandez

Spanish defensive midfielder Borja started his youth career with Real Madrid and made a move to Real Valladolid and featured in La Liga regularly. His team Deportivo de La Coruna won the Spanish 2nd tier in 2011. In 2014, the Spaniard decided to join Atlètico De Kolkata and lifted the Indian Super League trophy twice in 2014 & 2016.

In 2016, he was named captain of ATK. The midfielder, who boasts of having over 200 La Liga appearances, decided to hang up his boots in 2019 after playing his final La Liga match for Real Valladolid.

2. Tiri

Tiri started his youth career with Spanish 2nd division club Cadiz FC. After spending three years with Atletico Madrid B in the Spanish third tier, he made a move to Indian Super League side Atletico dé Kolkata in 2015. He was one of the key players as ATK lifted the ISL trophy next year. After the season, he returned to Spain and joined Marbella FC.

Tiri in action against East Bengal last season. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

After a short stint in his home country, he decided to come back to India and joined Jamshedpur FC. In 2020, he came back to Kolkata and joined newly-formed ATK Mohun Bagan. His presence in the defence guaranteed rock-like solidity to the backline. The Spaniard is well known for his ability to deal with aerial balls.

Currently, Tiri is injured (happened during the AFC Cup 2022) and not featuring in the ISL. But he is still a player at ATK Mohun Bagan.

1. Ferran Corominas

Ferran Corominas, a true goal-scoring machine, joined ISL side FC Goa ahead of the 2017-18 season. His ability to consistently score earned him the Golden Boot Award in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. The Spaniard netted 18 goals in 20 matches, including two hat-tricks against Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC. His sensational performance helped FC Goa to reach the semi-finals in his first season.

In the next season, the Spanish striker, who boasts of over 200 La Liga appearances, registered 16 goals in 20 matches and bagged the Golden Boot Award yet again. Coro was also the top scorer for the Gaurs in their Super Cup winning campaign in 2019, scoring five goals.

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