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Iconic Indian Super League players and where are they now

Published at :June 17, 2022 at 12:59 AM
Modified at :June 20, 2022 at 9:56 PM
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The league has seen some incredible individuals feature in it over the years.

Indian football saw the arrival of several high-profile professionals from across the globe thanks to the Indian Super League. Since the advent of the competition, former players working as managers and active professionals with immense pedigree have featured in it. Individuals that have won major international trophies, and played for clubs in the Premier League, La Liga, the Serie A and more have been in the league. Due to the arrival of these iconic players, the level of football in the country saw an increase.

Their expertise and experience in playing at the top level were immense in helping Indian footballers develop. However, all good things come to an end. Similarly, the professional partnership between the iconic figures in football and the ISL saw an end with the individuals moving on to other opportunities or shifting into a non-playing role after retirement.

The following players were some of the most iconic individuals of their time who also featured in the ISL in a playing and managerial capacity. Let’s take a look at where they are now: 

Florent Malouda

Florent Malouda spent two years with the former ISL outfit, Delhi Dynamos FC. Before coming to India, the French star played for the likes of Olympique Lyonnais and Chelsea, winning the Ligue 1 title multiple times with the former and the UEFA Champions League with the latter. Today, Malouda was seen working on his coaching badges. His latest appearance was observed at the UEFA B Residential Course in Wales.

Luis Garcia

Garcia will always be remembered as the first ISL-winning captain. (Courtesy: ISL)

Luis Garcia was the first marquee signing in the ISL when he joined Atletico de Kolkata in 2014. The former FC Barcelona, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid player brought immense pedigree to Indian football. He also played for Central Coast Mariners after his stint in Indian football before retiring. Garcia often works as a pundit for media broadcasting companies today. 

Asamoah Gyan

Asamoah Gyan featured for Ghana in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups and played for the likes of Sunderland and other European clubs. He joined NorthEast United for the 2019-20 season and the Legon Cities club for the 2020-21 campaign. Currently, he is also working on his coaching badges for a foray into football coaching in the future.  

David James

James played as both player and manager in his ISL career (Courtesy: ISL)

David James had two stints in the Indian Super League with Kerala Blasters FC. In 2014 he was in a player/manager capacity while in 2018, he was purely the head coach of the side. The custodian was an England international player before coming to India and played for clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City and more in England. Today, he makes regular appearances as a football expert for broadcasting organisations. 

Part 2: Iconic Indian Super League players and where are they now

Robbie Keane

Robbie Keane featured in the ISL for ATK in 2017-18. The forward is the most capped player ever for the Republic of Ireland and also represented clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and West Ham among others. He has retired as a professional and took his first strides in the managerial side of the football. He was last seen acting as the Assistant Manager at Middlesbrough and holds the UEFA Pro License. 

Wes Brown

He played 14 matches in ISL for Kerala Blasters FC (Courtesy: ISL)

Former Manchester United and England international Wes Brown came to the ISL in 2017-18. He featured for Kerala Blasters for a season, playing 14 times and scoring a goal too. Today, Wes Brown is actively involved with MUFC in an ambassadorial role and contributes at multiple levels. He also works as a football expert for broadcasting agencies. 

Elano Blumer

Elano was the first marquee signing made by Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League. He was the top scorer in the first season with eight goals and also helped the club win the league in the second season. The former Manchester City player and Brazil international has become a manager today after retiring as a professional. He is currently the manager of Ferroviária, a club in the fourth tier of Brazilian football.


Popularly known as the “White Pele” Zico was one of the best players of his generation. He moved into the managerial side of football after retiring as a player. The iconic figure was the head coach at FC Goa for two seasons, becoming very popular amongst the fans. Currently, Zico is the Technical Director at the Japanese club Kashima Antlers. 

Diego Forlan

He represented the Mumbai City FC outfit in the Indian Super League (Courtesy: ISL)

Diego Forlan is also a former ISL player, featuring for Mumbai City FC during the 2016 season. He played 11 matches and scored five goals for the outfit. The former Manchester United player was also the highest goalscorer for Uruguay until Luis Suarez overtook his tally. He went into football coaching after retiring in 2019. Most recently, Forlan was manager of Atenas, a club in Uruguay that plays in the Segunda Division.

Alessandro Del Piero

Alessandro Del Piero was a marquee signing by Delhi Dynamos in the inaugural season of the league. The legendary Italian footballer who played over 500 matches for Juventus and also won the FIFA World Cup with Italy in 2006 was an instant hit in India. Today, the fabled striker works as a football analyst and pundit for various broadcasting networks and media organisations.

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