Some of these budding youngsters have proven their talent over the years.
Indian Super League is the best platform in the country for budding footballers to showcase their talents. Lots of ISL clubs have given a chance to India’s young players, who have in turn grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
The following young players are vital to the development of Indian football. They have performed toe-to-toe alongside vastly experienced domestic and foreign players. To be able to showcase their talent and impress the fans at a young age is incredible, but to score a goal in the process is priceless.
Keeping that in mind, let’s shift the focus towards the five youngest goalscorers in the history of the ISL:
5. Aniket Jadhav (19 years 03 months 16 days)
Aniket Jadhav first came into limelight when he became part of the India U-17 team and played at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017. He has been playing for Jamshedpur FC since 2018 after joining the side from Indian Arrows in the same year. In 2019, the youngster also underwent a three-month trial with former Premier League side Blackburn Rovers – an experience he will cherish for the years to come.
His goal against Hyderabad FC on 29 October 2019, when he was a mere 19-year-old makes him the fifth youngest goalscorer in the competition. The attacker’s contribution helped his side to a 3-1 victory.
4. Deependra Negi (19 years 02 months 07 days)
Deependra Negi is currently part of the Hyderabad FC setup and plays for their reserves side. However, his ISL debut came for Kerala Blasters a couple of years ago in a game where he single-handedly helped the team win the three points.
On 27 January 2018, Negi made his debut appearance for the southerners against Delhi Dynamos. He scored the equaliser after coming off the bench and also won the penalty that secured the victory for the side. The attacking-midfielder was just over 19 years at the time.
3. Malsawmzuala (19 years 02 months 06 days)
Malsawmzuala is currently employed with Sudeva in the I-League. However, he has played briefly for Delhi Dynamos, ATK, Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC in the ISL. The youngster was part of the AIFF Elite squad which was curated for the U-17 FIFA World Cup.
Malsawmzuala was only 19 years, two months and six days old when he scored for Delhi Dynamos in a 4-3 defeat to FC Pune City on 18 November 2016. He is the third youngest player ever to score a goal in the ISL.
2. Jerry Lalrinzuala (18 years 04 months 01 day)
Chennaiyin FC’s Jerry Lalrinzuala is one of the only two players that have scored in the competition before turning 19. Over the years, he has also represented the Indian senior national team along with different age group teams.
The left-back has only scored once for the Marina Machans and it had to be a special one. The goal came back on December 1, 2016, in a high-octane clash with FC Goa, that resulted in a 5-4 victory for the Gaurs. Back then, he was only 18 years and four months old. It was a season to remember for the young lad as he was also regarded as the Emerging Player of the Season in the ISL. In addition, he was also part of the Marina Machans’ title-winning team under John Gregory.
1. Komal Thatal (18 years 01 month 13 days)
Komal Thatal is the youngest player ever to score a goal in the ISL. The forward scored for ATK in a 2-1 defeat to FC Bengaluru on 31 October 2018. He was only 18 years, one month and 13 days old at the time.
The youngster is hailed as one of the most promising players with a ton of potential. However, he has struggled for gametime since the past few years. He came into limelight after his impressive performances in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017.