These stars have played a huge role for their respective teams over the years.

Even though it’s a team game, football has seen numerous memorable individual performances, which have enabled players to change the course of the game. From strikers smashing match-winning goals to defenders making match-rescuing tackles, the beautiful game has witnessed phenomenal moments produced by individual players. To recognize their efforts, they’re awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award after the game – and since its inception, the Indian Super League (ISL) has been practicing the same too.

Today, Khel Now takes a look at the top five players with the most ‘Man of the Match’ awards in the relatively small history of the league:

5. Lallianzuala Chhangte – 8 awards

Chhangte’s performances in the ISL helped the star get a call-up to the Indian national side

Marcelo Pereira and Lallianzuala Chhangte have both won eight ISL ‘Man of the Match’ awards each. But, the latter has done so in one game fewer than the Brazilian. The 23-year-old winger has been called the rising star of Indian football for his versatility in attack, with a keen eye for goal. His formidable dribbling is also worth a mention.

He made his debut in the ISL with NorthEast United in 2016, but a lack of first-team chances saw him make only a single appearance before signing for Delhi Dynamos. Chhangte oversaw two successful campaigns with the capital side and then replicated his heroics at Chennaiyin FC, with whom he reached the final of the 2019-20 season.

4. Aridane Santana – 9 awards

ISL’s history is filled with an abundance of talented Spanish players. Among the most recent exports from the Iberian Peninsula is Aridane Santana, who cut his teeth in the Indian top flight with Odisha before joining Hyderabad last year. The forward has scored a combined 19 goals for both teams to-date.

His impact can be further gauged when you see that the Spaniard has clinched nine ‘Man of the Match’ awards in just 32 ISL appearances. Six of them came in the most recent 2020-21 season, as Santana played a starring role for the Nizams. Eventually, the team missed out on the playoffs by a whisker.

3. Roy Krishna – 10 awards

Krishna has become highly popular with Indian fans

The man from Fiji has become synonymous with Indian football. Roy Krishna started his ISL career as recently as 2019, but has already broken numerous records and scored a ridiculous number of goals for ATK and ATK Mohun Bagan.

With 15 goals in his debut campaign, he played an instrumental role in guiding ATK to the league title, before netting another 14 as the Mariners reached the final this year. To go with his imperious scoring rate, Krishna has also chipped in with 14 assists in two seasons combined and he’s firmly established himself among the league’s all-time greats.

2. Sunil Chhetri – 10 awards

This man needs no introduction. Over the years, Sunil Chhetri has become an icon of Indian football. He carried that reputation into the ISL and added some more feathers to his cap. The imperious striker’s best moments in the league came with Bengaluru FC, although he also played one season with Mumbai City.

With 47 goals, Chhetri is one of the most prolific stars of the ISL. However, he hasn’t won the Golden Boot yet. At 36 years of age, he’s in the twilight of his career, but shows no signs of slowing down.

1. Ferran Corominas – 12 awards

Corominas came, Corominas saw, Corominas conquered!

A veteran of 200-plus appearances in La Liga, Ferran Corominas was still a relatively unknown name when he joined FC Goa in 2017. However, by the end of the next three years, he had etched his name forever in ISL folklore. His astronomical scoring feats turned the Gaurs into a formidable side and helped them reach the playoffs in every season that he participated in.

Corominas scored 18 goals in his first campaign and followed that up with another 16 in the next, winning the league’s Golden Boot on each occasion, as the Spaniard tore defences apart. He left Goa last year as the ISL’s all-time top scorer with 48 goals.

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