The league saw sensational performances from a few individuals both on and off the pitch.
The 2021-22 edition of the I-League came to its conclusion after a very successful campaign. It saw Gokulam Kerala FC retain its title after winning the league in the final fixture against Mohammedan SC. Teams like Sreenidi Deccan FC and Rajasthan United were also impressive in their debut season.
In addition, many players received a lot of praise for their consistent displays. The respective clubs were able to achieve their objectives thanks to performances by some of their players. At the season-ending award ceremony, the best performing players and staff were awarded by the league organisers.
Here is a look at who were the award winners from the I-League 2021-22 season:
Highest goal scorer – Marcus Joseph (Mohammedan SC)
Marcus Joseph of Mohammedan SC was the winner of the Golden Boot. He was the leading goalscorer in the division after scoring 16 goals during the campaign. He received a prize of ₹2.5 lakhs for his efforts during the award ceremony. The striker was amongst the best performing players of the season.
Best goalkeeper – Bhaskar Roy (Rajasthan United)
Bhaskar Roy was the winner of the Golden Glove with seven clean sheets. The custodian was adjudged as the best goalkeeper of the league and received a ₹2.5 lakhs package for his contribution to Rajasthan United. Furthermore, Roy saved the most number of shots, clocking in with 54 saves.
Best defender – Bouba Aminou (Gokulam Kerala FC)
I-League 2021-22 champions Gokulam Kerala FC had a very strong defence. Bouba Aminou was their key player in defence. Thanks to his performance, he received the best defender award and a ₹2.5 lakhs cash prize. Despite it being his first season in India, the centre-back took no time in settling under new conditions.
Best midfielder – Jithin MS (Gokulam Kerala FC)
Jithin MS was another Gokulam Kerala FC player who received an award at the ceremony. The midfielder received the coveted best midfielder award. Furthermore, he also received a ₹2.5 lakhs prize for his performances across the term. He contributed with four goals in the league-winning campaign for the Malabarians.
Best emerging player – Jiteshwor Singh (Neroca FC)
I-League is popular for giving young players a platform to showcase their talent. The award for best-emerging player and a cash prize worth ₹2.5 lakhs went to Jiteshwor Singh of Neroca FC. The 20-year-old was exceptional in a team that had an average season overall. Despite being of a young age, Singh showed composure, bravery and a good work ethic in the midfield. He is one of the players to watch out for.
Best coach – Vincenzo Annese (Gokulam Kerala FC)
The choice for the best coach was very obvious. Vincenzo Annese did a fabulous job in guiding Gokulam Kerala FC to a second successive league title. The 37-year-old already has two I-League titles with the Malabarians and has a bright managerial career ahead. He too received a ₹2.5 lakhs prize. The tactician showed a great understanding of Indian football and kept his players performing at a high level consistently.
Hero of the league – Marcus Joseph (Mohammedan SC)
The prestigious award of Hero of the league went to Marcus Joseph. The striker single-handedly helped MDSC mount a strong title challenge. He finished with 16 goals, the most by any player in the 2021-22 campaign and also had three assists. It will be interesting to see if the Black Panthers are able to retain the striker. He received a prize of ₹5 lakhs for this particular award.