Transferring to an Indian Super League team is regarded as the pinnacle of most Indian footballers’ careers. The large salary that comes with playing in the top tier of a country’s league system comes with numerous advantages.
However, in the past, many players chose otherwise, and the consequences of their decision benefited the country. The best example is former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia.
The Sikkimese played for Bury FC in League One for three years before becoming an unstoppable force on the national and international stages. Other players that improved their game outside of India include India’s current captain, Sunil Chhetri, goalie Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, and midfielder Brandon Fernandes.
Bala Devi is one of the women that has joined Scottish champions Rangers FC. This article, on the other hand, focuses on the country’s rising stars.
Without further ado, here are seven Indian players that have had great success in Europe.
Because of his successes in sports, Bhaichung Bhutia is regarded as a symbol for the Indian nation. Many sports fans have placed their bets on the Indian striker to score, up until his last match in 2015. You can find many instant withdrawal betting sites India on this page if you like to try yourself.
Furthermore, the Sikkimese Sniper made the country proud by signing a contract with the English team Bury in 1999. He appeared in 37 games for the English club, scoring eight goals, which is an incredible performance for any new player.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Sandhu is the first and so far only Indian to appear in a UEFA Europa League match. Sandhu is currently India’s number one keeper, and his outstanding efforts have aided the country numerous times. In 2014, he joined the Norwegian team FC Stabaek. He did, however, make his debut for the club in 2015. Later, he took part in the UEFA Europa League qualifying stages against Connah’s Quay Nomads. As a result, this is a historical event, and no other Indian has ever competed in such a renowned cup.
Chhetri is regarded as one of the top Indian players of the recent decade. Furthermore, his contribution to the Indian national team is unparalleled. With 84 goals so far, Chhetri is India’s leading goal scorer and stands fourth in the international rankings. He might even become the first Indian to score over 100 goals for the country.
He became the third Indian subcontinent player to play for a foreign club. He signed with Kansas City in 2010 but did not play for the team. He did, however, get a second shot later on after making a few appearances for Sporting CP, Portugal’s reserve team.
Subrata Pal was a stalwart in the Indian team and is still active today, having made his debut in 2004. Pal was the first Indian goalkeeper to play abroad when he joined FC Vestsjaelland, a Danish team, in 2014. He appeared on multiple occasions with their reserve team.
Due to his rapid reflexes, the 34-year-old is known as the “Indian Spiderman” and continues to perform at the highest level in the Indian Super League (ISL).
Ishan Pandita, who spent his early years in the Philippines, has established himself as a nomad among Spain’s bottom ranks. In 2012, he impressed Manchester United coaches during an “Airtel Rising Star” event in Bengaluru, and he has never looked back.
Three years later, he joined the U-18 team of UD Almeria for eight months, who went on to play in Spain’s second division, but his stint was cut short due to an injury.
However, it did not dampen his desire to try his luck in foreign pastures, as he signed a contract with Gimnastic de Tarragona’s reserve side in 2019. The main team competed in LaLiga II, while their B team, CF Pobla de Mafumet, competed in Spain’s fourth division.
He joined another Tercera Division (Spain’s fourth tier) club Lorca FC in the summer after training with them for around five months. Ishan has scored six goals for his squad in the 25 games he has played for them.