The following footballers have been making their region proud with their consistent performances at the national level.
Northeast India has been one of the most consistent providers of talented footballers for the last few decades. The region is a major hub of Indian football, providing the national leagues with both notable clubs and players.
The recent 28-man India squad for the friendlies against Oman and the UAE included eight representatives from the region. On that note, here is Khel Now taking a look at the top 10 footballers from Northeast India right now:
10. Jeakson Singh
19-year-old Manipur-born Jeakson Singh holds a very special record to his name. He remains the first and only Indian to-date to score a goal in a FIFA tournament, when he scored the equalizer for India against Colombia in the U-17 World Cup back in 2017.
Right now, Jeakson plays as a centre-back for Kerala Blasters. The youngster recently made his debut for the senior team in India’s 1-1 draw against Oman in a friendly.
9. Amarjit Singh Kiyam
Manipur-born central midfielder Amarjit Singh Kiyam was the captain of the U-17 Indian team that featured in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The 20-year-old currently plays for Indian Super League (ISL) outfit FC Goa. The youngster made his debut for the senior national team back in 2019 and became the first player born after 2000 to feature in the senior team.
8. Halicharan Narzary
The only representative from the state of Assam, Narzary is a winger who is currently playing for Hyderabad FC. The 26-year-old had a fruitful season last time out with the Nizams, where he went on to score four goals.
The forward made his debut for the Indian national team back in 2015 and has made 26 appearances for the Blue Tigers to-date.
7. Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem
Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem has become a household name among Indian football fans due to his heroics in the ongoing AFC Champions League for FC Goa. The young goalkeeper became the first Indian to feature in the AFC Champions League Team of The Week and managed to do it twice in a row, keeping two clean-sheets in Goa’s first two matches.
Hailing from Manipur, the 20-year-old is another one of the starlets of India’s U-17 World Cup team.
6. Jerry Mawihmingthanga
Hailing from Mizoram, Jerry is an attacking midfielder who plies his trade for Odisha FC. The 24-year-old has provided 10 assists and scored four goals in the last two seasons of the ISL.
The Juggernauts’ attacker has also represented India at the U-19 and U-23 levels.
The 20-year-old Mizoram-born midfielder Lalengmawia was one of the discoveries of the 2019-20 season of the ISL. In the following campaign, the NorthEast United starlet deservedly won the ISL Emerging Player of the Season.
He also became the youngest player to captain an ISL side when he led the Highlanders against FC Goa in 1-1 draw. His performances in the league earned him a call-up to the Indian national team.
4. Jackichand Singh
Another one of the many Manipuri representatives in the list, Jackichand has been a recurring name in the Indian football scene in recent years. The 29-year-old winger has played for different clubs across the country. He was part of the title-winning Mumbai City FC in the recently concluded ISL 2020-21 season.
The forward made his international debut in 2015. One of his most memorable performances was against Laos, in Guwahati, when he came on as a first half substitute and provided three assists, helping India turn the game around and eventually win 6-1.
3. Lallianzuala Changte
The 23-year old Lallianzuala Chhangte represents Chennaiyin FC in the ISL. Changte had a fruitful 2020-21 season, as he made 20 appearances and scored four goals
The winger made his international debut for India in 2015 and has since notched 13 appearances and four goals.
2. Udanta Singh
Hailing from the state of Manipur, Udanta Singh has been one of the most popular Indian names in the ISL. The 24-year old plays as a winger for Bengaluru FC and was instrumental in their maiden title win in 2018-19. During that season, he scored five goals and provided three assists for the Blues. The forward also has three AFC Cup goals to his name.
Udanta made his debut for the Indian national team in 2016 and has made 27 appearances for them so far.
1. Jeje Lalpekhlua
Born in Mizoram, Jeje Lalpekhlua is arguably the best player the region has produced in recent times. The 30-year-old is the second highest Indian goalscorer in the ISL and is the all-time top goalscorer for Chennaiyin.
Jeje has won both the I League and the Indian Super League. The forward made his international debut back in 2011 and has made 56 appearances for the Blue Tigers since, scoring 23 goals. He is currently plying his trade for Kolkata giants East Bengal.