The final phase of this season’s rankings saw a lot of new faces.

The league stage of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season concluded on Monday, following Jamshedpur FC’s historic 1-0 win over ATK Mohun Bagan. The victory helped the Men of Steel win their first trophy in the form of the League Winners’ Shield. Both teams have now progressed to the ISL 2021-22 playoffs, where they’re joined by second-placed Hyderabad FC and Kerala Blasters, who are fourth in the standings.

By now, our readers will be aware of Khel Now’s very own ‘Power Rankings’ — a landmark innovation that has helped us determine the top 10 most consistent players from the ongoing ISL season. This article is the fifth and final iteration of the series and it highlights the best 10 players judged on the basis of their performances so far in the league.

Without further ado, let us take a look at who has topped the ‘Khel Now Power Rankings’ at the end of Phase 5 of the 2021-22 ISL season.

*Phase 5 of the 2021-22 season ended after the game between Jamshedpur FC and ATK Mohun Bagan on March 7, 2022.

10. Liston Colaco (ATK Mohun Bagan) – 20 points

Liston Colaco
Colaco has been the best Indian player this season (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The winger makes his debut in the final edition of this season’s Power Rankings. The forward has taken a completely different avatar ever since his move to ATK Mohun Bagan. He has silenced all his critics following his big move to the Mariners in the summer by becoming their go-to man in the final third. His pace and awareness on the pitch make him a lot more dangerous in the attacking third.

Liston Colaco has been one of the most dominant players on the pitch for ATK Mohun Bagan. He has 11 goal contributions to show in 20 matches, the most by an Indian this season. The 23-year-old has developed his game season-after-season and currently is enjoying his best campaign in the Indian top-flight.

8. Joao Victor (Hyderabad FC) – 21 points

The Brazilian is one of the few new entrants in the Power Rankings this season. His understanding and ability to control the tempo of the game has been highly beneficial for the Nizams. Joao has become the first Hyderabad FC captain to lead them into the playoffs. 

He has improved his goal contributions tally this season in comparison to last, with five goals and an assist in just 18 games. Moreover, his versatility to operate as a centre-back and as a holding midfielder has given Hyderabad an edge over their rivals.

8. VP Suhair (NorthEast United FC) – 21 points

Suhair broke into the ISL last season and earned applause from pundits and fans across the country for his heroics with the Highlanders. Although NorthEast United had a forgetful 2021-22 campaign, Suhair had one to remember. He racked up his career-best figures in the ISL, with four goals and two assists in 19 games.

He played the role of a proper team player and was involved in the thick of things at either ends of the pitch. Suhair worked his socks off not just while attacking, but also while defending. He recorded 84 tackles, 29 blocks, 16 interceptions and four clearances to show for his defensive contributions. Moreover, his fine form in the ISL this season earned him a maiden national team call-up.

7. Igor Angulo (Mumbai City) – 23 points

Igor Angulo
After 8 goals in his first 9 matches, Agulo scored just 2 goals in the last 10 games (Courtesy: ISL Media)

After the highs of last season, Igor Angulo joined Mumbai City and looked threatening in the first half of the season. But, ever since the turn of the year, the Spaniard experienced a major dip in form according to his standards. 

His bad run of form in front of goal cost the defending champions a place in the semi-finals this season. Angulo recorded 10 goals and two assists in 19 games for the Islanders this season.

6. Alvaro Vazquez (Kerala Blasters FC) – 25 points

The Spaniard has been a mastermind in executing volleys and strikes in the yellow of Kerala Blasters this season. He has moved to the sixth position from ninth by picking up eight points in Phase 5 of the 2021-22 ISL season. Vazquez scored three goals out of which two came in the virtual quarter-final against Mumbai City.

His attitude and synergy with Jorge Pereyra Diaz in the attacking third have been one of the driving reasons behind Kerala Blasters run of form this season. Alvaro’s tally of eight goals and an assist played a crucial role in bringing an end to Kerala Blasters’ playoffs drought.

5. Javi Hernandez (Odisha FC) – 27 points

Javi Hernandez
Hernandez was centre to everything good for Odisha FC this season (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Javi Hernandez unleashed his true potential in the colours of Odisha FC, which resulted in his best Indian Super League (ISL) campaign. The playmaker scored six and assisted five of the total 31 goals scored by Odisha this season. He became the joint-highest goal contributor for the Kalinga Warriors in the process. 

He set the stage on fire with his screamers, picture-perfect free-kicks and even an Olimpico. However, his hard-fought contributions did go in vain as Odisha FC managed to accumulate just 23 points in 20 games and finished seventh on the table.

3. Cleiton Silva (Bengaluru FC) – 29 points

For the second season in a row, Cleiton Silva finished as the highest goalscorer for Bengaluru FC. In 19 games this season, Silva scored nine and assisted three goals for the Blues. He almost helped them break into the top four. However, results just didn’t go their way in the final set of games.

He was Marco Pezzaiuoli’s best man upfront, as he stepped up to the occasion every time his side needed him. Silva scored a goal each against NorthEast United and Odisha FC in Phase 5 and wrapped up his second season in India with good numbers.

Khel Now's Power Rankings for ISL 2021-22 (Phase 5)
Khel Now’s Power Rankings for ISL 2021-22 (Phase 5)

3. Adrian Luna (Kerala Blasters FC) – 29 points

Tell us about a better love story than Adrian Luna and sublime strikes, we’ll wait! 

Luna has taken the ISL by storm ever since his debut in the yellow of Kerala Blasters. He has been a great leader ever since club captain Jessel Carneiro was ruled out of the season following an injury. The Uruguayan has scored unthinkable goals from unthinkable angles and there is so much more to tell about him. 

Luna has scored five goals and assisted seven this season. Adrian Luna and Co. have finally brought an end to Kerala Blasters’ four-year playoffs drought. Luna magic has become a new normal on a KBFC matchday. Fans will be hoping that their talisman helps them go the distance this season.

2. Bartholomew Ogbeche (Hyderabad FC) – 44 points

After missing out on the Golden Boot twice in the last three seasons, Ogbeche is close to completing his Golden Boot heist this season. He is far ahead of the chasing pack and there’s no stopping him. Ogbeche has aged like fine wine over the years and has been consistent in front of goal ever since his arrival in India.

He has hit double figures in terms of goals thrice in the last four seasons, which speaks volumes about what he brings to the table. The Nigerian became the second and fastest player to cross the 50-goal mark in the ISL. In a team full of wizards, Ogbeche has been an excellent leader and has helped the young Hyderabad FC side look more mature. He has scored 17 goals in 18 matches in ISL 2021-22 and is expected to score more in the playoffs.

1. Greg Stewart (Jamshedpur FC) – 53 points

Greg Stewart
Stewart has by a distance been the best player this season (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Greg Stewart, a 2020-21 Scottish Premier League champion didn’t just bring his A-game to the Indian Super League, but also his trophy-winning luck for Jamshedpur FC. He became the only player to surpass the 50-point mark in ISL 2021-22 by regaining the top spot. Stewart was indeed the missing piece of the puzzle for Owen Coyle’s Men of Steel, as he helped them clinch their first trophy.

He also became only the second player to record double digits both in terms of goals and assists. His exceptional game reading skills coupled with his swift movements with the ball make for a deadly combination. Stewart has been a livewire and has caused a lot of damage to other teams with his gifted left foot.

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