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Top five most impactful foreign players from ISL 2023-24 season

Published at :May 13, 2024 at 4:47 PM
Modified at :May 13, 2024 at 4:47 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Uttiyo Sarkar

These players played a special part in their respective clubs’ ISL campaign.

The 2023-24 Indian Super League proved to be a highly entertaining campaign, full of thrills right until the end. In what was the lengthiest ISL season, Mohun Bagan reigned supreme as the ISL shield winners and Mumbai City FC clinched the ISL title. While a lot of Indian players were instrumental to their teams’ success, the foreign players still dominated the aspect of winning matches for their sides.

The overall quality of foreign players also improved in the ISL with the introduction of new faces whom added a refined danger to their teams. With that being said, a few particular foreign players managed to stand out and perform significantly better than the rest. Be it some ISL ‘regulars’ who have impressed in recent seasons or newcomers, these foreign players played big roles in helping their team achieve success. Let’s look at the top five most impactful foreign players from the 2023/24 ISL season.

Special mention: Adrian Luna (He was injured for most part of the season but during his limited time, he carried (if that’s not an exaggeration) Kerala Blasters and their title dreams on his shoulders.

5. Noah Sadaoui (FC Goa)

Top five most impactful foreign players from ISL 2023-24 season FC Goa Noah Sadaoui
Noah Sadaoui won’t be staying at FC Goa next season. (Courtesy: ISL)

After enjoying a prolific 2022/23 season with FC Goa, Noah Sadaoui returned hungrier than ever in the 2023/24 campaign. The Moroccan forward was the spine of FC Goa’s frontline, causing a lot of trouble with his clever off-the-ball movement and clinical goal-scoring ability. He scored 11 goals and provided five assists in 23 appearances last season, including a hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Hyderabad FC.

Sadaoui added a lot of chaos to FC Goa’s attacking style with his unpredictable nature and significantly amplified his goal-scoring ability, producing some sublime finishes to help FC Goa win matches. He was a major reason behind FC Goa getting into the ISL semi-finals and proved to be a thorn in the back of many defenders.

4. Dimitrios Diamantakos (Kerala Blasters)

In his second season in the ISL, Dimitrios Diamantakos also polished his goal-scoring boots to be a bigger threat for Kerala Blasters. The Greek forward was really tough to handle for the defenders because of his formidable physique, ability to hold off centre-backs and also link-up smartly with his teammates.

The 31-year-old was extremely clinical in finishing off chances, scoring a brilliant 13 goals from only 29 shot attempts in the campaign. He scored decisive goals in wins over Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City and FC Goa – helping Kerala punish their opponents’ mistakes. Diamantakos saw his heroics validated in the end as he won the ISL Golden Boot, giving him some joy in what was a mixed bag of a season for Kerala Blasters.

3. Roy Krishna (Odisha FC)

Top five most impactful foreign players from ISL 2023-24 season Roy Krishna Odisha FC
Roy Krishna narrowly missed out on the ISL 2023-24 Golden Boot. (Courtesy: ISL)

After a surprising move to Odisha FC ahead of the 2023/24 season, Roy Krishna had some doubting whether he could still go strong in the ISL. He had a slow start to the campaign, only scoring one goal in the first six league matches. But once Krishna found his best role in Sergio Lobera’s system, he started to thrive in the freedom of it.

He often operated in a right-wing role which saw him move into the central areas to cause chaos, significantly improving Odisha’s goal-scoring prowess. Krishna ultimately enjoyed a really prolific debut season at Odisha, scoring 13 goals and providing three assists in 25 ISL games. Not only was he able to put his decisive finishing ability to good use, but he also created 43 goal-scoring chances and operated as an ideal team player – helping Odisha FC go far into the ISL playoffs.

2. Madih Talal (Punjab FC)

Punjab FC needed someone special to help them stand out in their first-ever ISL season. Fortunately enough, they were lucky to have the brilliant Madih Talal to help them outwit and outperform many teams in the campaign. Talal proved to be almost unplayable because of his hard-working, tricky nature that helped him slide past opposition players at ease to create and score goals.

He notched up an amazing 16 goal contributions in his debut campaign, which included 10 assists – the highest in the league. Not only that, but Talal also topped metrics such as the most fouls earned in the 2023/24 ISL and also the most chances created (57)! Talal’s unpredictable final passes and his smart movement in the final third helped him take the ISL by storm and he’ll look to maintain his impressive form for East Bengal next season.

1. Dimitri Petratos (Mohun Bagan)

Top five most impactful foreign players from ISL 2023-24 season Mohun Bagan Dimitri Petratos
Dimitri Petratos has been Mohun Bagan’s most impactful player for the last two seasons. (Courtesy: ISL)

Dimitri Petratos played a major role in helping the Mariners clinch the ISL title in the 2022/23 season and came back even stronger in the 2023/24 campaign. The 31-year-old started to pick up his form in the second leg of the ISL, having found his best role under Antonio Habas. Petratos was the ultimate team player, always being there to help his teammates find empty space or chances to latch onto as he created the joint-most (60) goal-scoring chances.

He continued being a menace with his excellent set-piece delivery and clever ability to play his teammates into prime scoring areas. Moreover, Petratos also continued picking out chances for himself and used his smart finishing to score key goals. He ended the campaign with 10 goals and seven assists in 23 appearances, scoring or assisting in almost all the big games. Petratos played a major role in helping Mohun Bagan win the ISL shield and was rewarded with the ISL Player of the League award at the end.

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