Top 21 Best Indian Football Players of All Time

Top 21 Best Indian Football Players Of All Time - Sunil Chhetri

Who is the best football player in India of all time? Look at the list of the top 21 Best Indian Football Players. Football (soccer) is quite popular in India, even though cricket may have more supporters. Since people now choose football over cricket, you should know the best Indian footballers.

Sunil Chhetri, the best football player in India of all time, is currently ranking third on the list of active international football players with the highest goal scorers, with 84 goals in 131 games alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Sunil Chhetri has won the AIFF Player of the Year award a record six times. He has won the award the most times since the All India Football Federation began bestowing it in 1992. Sunil Chhetri is the best Indian football player who has made the most appearances and scored the most goals.

From 1948 to 1964, when India participated in four Olympics and won two gold medals at the Asian Games, Indian football had a long and illustrious history. The All India Football Federation(AIFF) is in charge of the Indian national football team. The Indian football squad is also a member of the South Asian Football Federation, which is overseen throughout Asia by the AFC and under the global jurisdiction of FIFA. Here, we’ll talk about the top 20 most famous Indian football players. Check the top 20 best Indian football players:

Top 21 Famous Indian Football Players Of All Time

  1. Sunil Chhetri
  2. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
  3. Bhaichung Bhutia
  4. Jeje Lalpekhlua
  5. Sandesh Jhingan
  6. P. K. Banerjee
  7. I.M. Vijayan
  8. Udanta Singh
  9. Pronay Halder
  10. Jackichand Singh
  11. Brandon Fernandes
  12. Arnab Mondal
  13. Raju Gaikwad
  14. N. P. Pradeep
  15. Jewel Raja
  16. Steven Dias
  17. Irungbam Surkumar Singh
  18. Gostha Pal
  19. Clifford Miranda
  20. Anthony Pereira
  21. Sushil Kumar Singh

1. Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri, the Best Indian Football Players of All Time

Born: 3 August 1984, Secunderabad
Age: 38 years (as of 2023)
Position(s): Forward
Jersey Number: #11
Spouse Name: Sonam Bhattacharya (m. 2017)
Height: 1.7m (5 ft 7 in)
Salary: 1.1 lakhs USD
Current teams: India national football team, and Bengaluru FC

As the current captain of the Indian national team and the nation’s all-time leading goal scorer and most-caps player, Sunil Chhetri is undoubtedly one of the most pleasing performers in Indian football history. He is also one of the most famous football players in India of all time. Sunil Chhetri is also the only Indian footballer to have played on three continents, including North America, Asia, and Europe.

2. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu - Best Indian Football Players

Date of Birth: 3 February 1992, Mumbai
Jersey Number: #1
Position(s): Goalkeeper
Height: 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
Current team(s): India national football team, and Bengaluru FC
Awards: Arjuna Award for Football
Weight: 90 kg

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu is one of the most famous Indian football players of all time and the first Indian to play in the UEFA Europa League. He is one of the first five Indian professional footballers in European leagues. He now serves as the goalkeeper for Bengaluru FC, an Indian team. Also, he has been the legendary goalkeeper of AC Milan.

3. Bhaichung Bhutia

Bhaichung Bhutia - Best Indian Football Players

Date of Birth: 15 December 1976, Tinkitam
Current team: East Bengal Club
Height: 1.73 m
Position: Forward
Nationality: Indian

Bhaichung Bhutia, a former captain of Indian football, is one of the most popular players to have ever played for India. After Mohammed Salim, he became the second Indian football player to play professionally in Europe when he signed a deal with the English team Bury in 1999. Bhaichung Bhutia is also a famous player of Sikkim. Bhaichung Bhutia was also one of the ten inaugural inductees into the Asian Football Hall of Fame in 2014, making him the first Indian footballer to receive the honor.

4. Jeje Lalpekhlua

Jeje Lalpekhlua - Best Indian Football Players

Date of Birth: 7 January 1991, Hnahthial
Position(s): Striker
Height: 1.76 m
Nationality: Indian
Jersey Number(s): #12 (Chennaiyin FC ), #10 (Pune F.C.), #12 (Dempo S.C.)

One of the greatest Indian football players of all time, Jeje Lalpekhlua was born in the tiny Mizorami town of Hnahthial. He holds both the record for most goals scored for Chennaiyin and is the second-highest goal scorer in Indian history in the Indian Super League.

5. Sandesh Jhingan

Sandesh Jhingan - Famous Indian Football Players

Date of Birth: 21 July 1993, Chandigarh
Position: Centre-Back
Height: 1.88 m
Dates joined: 14 August 2022 (Bengaluru FC)
Current teams: India national football team, and Bengaluru FC
Nationality: Indian

In 2015, Sandesh Jhingan made his international debut for India. Sandesh Jhingan has since maintained his status as one of the top football players in India and has also represented Kerala Blasters in the ISL, where he holds the record for most appearances, with 78 for the team.

6. P. K. Banerjee

P. K. Banerjee - Famous Indian Football Players

Date of Birth: 23 June 1936, Jalpaiguri
Date of Death: 20 March 2020, Kolkata
Place of death: Kolkata, ‎West Bengal‎, India‎
Current team: Aryan FC
Position: Forward
Height: 1.74 m
Awards: Arjuna Award for Football
Dates joined: 1955 (Eastern Railway FC), and 1954 (Aryan FC)
International Career: 1955 to1966 for India

P.K. Banerjee, who captained the Indian national team before taking over as the team’s coach, was one of the best players in Indian football history. He played 45 international matches for India, scoring 15 goals, and was one of the inaugural Arjuna Award winners in 1961. Later, in 1990, was named as Indian Footballer of the 20th century by IFFHS and received the coveted Padma Shri honor. He received the highest honor bestowed by FIFA, the FIFA Order of Merit (FIFAOM), in 2004. On March 20, 2020, Banerjee passed away. According to reports he also had a diagnosis of dementia, heart problems, and Parkinson’s disease.

7. I.M. Vijayan

I.M. Vijayan - Famous Indian Football Players

Born: 25 April 1969, Thrissur
Spouse: Raji Vijayan (m. 1994)
Height: 1.8 m
Playing position: Striker
Sports: Football

IM Vijayan, a former football player for the Indian national team, is one of the best strikers the nation has ever seen. The former Kerala Police hero had an incredible career and retired as a football icon in India. IM Vijayan scored one of the fastest goals in international football history and the quickest goal ever by an Indian against Bhutan. In 1993, 1997, and 1999, Vijayan won three AIFF Player of the Year awards. He is one of the best Indian football players to play for the Indian national team.

8. Udanta Singh

Udanta Singh

Position(s): Right winger
Date of birth: 14 June 1996
Height: 170 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Weight: 65 kg
Place of birth: Manipur, India‎

Udanta Singh is a prominent and quick player in the country. The Indian national team and Bengaluru FC both use him as a winger. He began his career with the Tata Football Academy and immediately made an impact by earning the golden boot in the U-19 I-League. In 2014, he joined Bengaluru FC, the I-League champions at the time. Udanta Singh is one of the best football players in India and is well-known for his creative and offensive style of play.

9. Pronay Halder

Pronay Halder

Born: 25 February 1993
Height: 1.8 m
Weight: 70 kg
Nationality: Indian
Career start: 2011-Present
Jersey Number: #14

Pronay Halder is a popular Indian football player who is renowned for his strategic knowledge. He now represents both the Indian national team and Indian Super League (ISL) club Jamshedpur as a defensive midfielder. One of the most skilled veterans on the Indian National Football Team. He is regarded as one of the leaders in the dressing room because of his more than ten years of experience competing at the highest level.

10. Jackichand Singh

Jackichand Singh

Born: 17 March 1992, Manipur
Height: 1.6 m
Current team: India national football team
Jersey Number: #18
Playing Position: Midfielder
Weight: 58 kg
Nationality: Indian

One of the top wingers for both the Indian national team and Indian Super League clubs is Jackichand Singh. He started his professional career in 2009 at Royal Wahingdoh, where he also contributed to the club’s 2014–15 season-long advancement to the Hero I-League. Also, he is know as Indian Jackie Chan.

11. Anas Edathodika

Full Name: Anas Edathodika
Date of Birth: 15 February 1987
Position: Centre-back 
Height: 1.8 m
Current team: India national football team (Defender)
Jersey Number: #22

Since making his debut in 2007, Anas Edathodika has made a significant number of appearances in the main leagues and cups in India as well as in AFC competitions. One of India’s top defenders, Anas Edathodika has played for a number of Indian clubs, including Kerala Blasters FC, Mohun Bagan, ATK FC, Mumbai FC, Pune FC, and Delhi Dynamos FC. In August 2021, he made a comeback to the Hero ISL with Jamshedpur FC, the team he had previously played with in 2017–18.

11. Brandon Fernandes

Brandon Fernandes - Famous Indian Football Players

Full Name: Brandon Fernandes
Date of Birth: 20 September 1994, Margao
Position: Attacking Midfield
Height: 1.67 m
Current teams: India national football team, and FC Goa
Jersey Number: #10
Nationality: Indian

Brandon Fernandes is a famous Indian footballer who currently plays for FC Goa in the Indian Super League as an attacking midfielder. Brandon Fernandes is the only Indian player to have represented the country in all age groups including U-13, U-16, U-17, and U-19, he has the most assists of any Indian player in the Hero Indian Super League, and coaches regard him as a set-piece expert or free-kick specialist.

12. Arnab Mondal

Arnab Mondal

Full Name: Arnab Kumar Mondal
Date of birth: 25 September 1989
Place of birth: Behala, ‎West Bengal
Playing Position: Defender/Centre back
Jersey Numbers: #5, and #3
Height: 1.79 m

Arnab Mondal quickly established himself as a permanent member of East Bengal’s defensive line, partnering with Uga Okpara as East Bengal held the best defensive record in the I-League halfway through the season. He is a very effective centre-back for whichever team he plays for. Against Qatar U-23 in the 2012 Summer Olympics Qualifiers, he made his maiden start for the India U-23 team. Stephen Constantine, the head coach, appointed him captain of the senior national team for the World Cup Qualifying match against Oman on June 10, 2015.

13. Raju Gaikwad

Raju Gaikwad

Full Name: Raju Eknath Gaikwad
Date of birth: 25 September 1990
Place of birth: Mumbai
Position: Defender
Height: 1.80 m
Current teams: East Bengal Club, and India national football team
Jersey Number: #2

Raju Gaikwad, a veteran and famous defender for the Indian football team, has come a long way since beginning his career at the Tata Football Academy and later playing for East Bengal and Pailan Arrows. Raju Gaikwad made his international debut for India on March 21, 2011, against Chinese Tapei in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers. In the 2012 Olympic Qualifiers, he made his debut for India U23 against Myanmar U23s on February 23, 2011.

14. N. P. Pradeep

Full Name: Naduparambil Pappachen Pradeep
Born: 28 April 1983, Moolamattom
Position: Defender
Height: 1.75 m
Weight: 76 kg
Sports: Football

NP Pradeep is a retired famous Indian football player who played as a defender for eight different clubs in India, including the U20 and U-23 teams, as well as the Indian National team. He also served as captain of India’s U23 team.  

15. Jewel Raja

Jewel Raja

Full name: Jewel Raja Shaikh
Born: 19 January 1990, Budge Budge
Current club/team: South United F.C.
Jersey Numbers: #23, and #16
Playing Position: Midfielder

Jewel Raja is an I-League 2nd Division central midfielder who currently plays for South United. Many ATK fans will recall the name Jewel Raja Shaikh from the 2016 Indian Super League (ISL) final when he scored the game-winning penalty to give the Kolkata-based club its second title.

16. Steven Dias – The David Beckham of India

Steven Dias - The David Beckham of India

Full name: Steven Benedic Dias
Birth Date: 25 December 1983, Mumbai
Current team: Churchill Brothers FC Goa
Jersey Number: #23
Playing Position: Right midfielder
Height: 1.73 m

Steven Dias is one of the top 20 best Indian football players. He is famous for his long-range shooting, passing, and crossing skills. He debuted for India in 2006 and has since established himself as a pillar of the Indian midfield. Fans will remember Steven Dias as “the David Beckham of India.” He made his India debut in 2004.

17. Irungbam Surkumar Singh

Irungbam Surkumar Singh - Famous Indian Football Players

Full name: Irungbam Surkumar Singh
Date Of Birth: 21 March 1983
Playing Position: Right-Back
Jersey Number: #13
Height: 1.75 m
Current team: Mumbai Tigers FC
Nationality: Indian

Irungbam Surkumar Singh is an Indian footballer who played almost 8 clubs as a defender. He graduated from the prestigious Tata Football Academy in 2000 and is currently playing for Mumbai Tigers FC. Surkumar Singh also made his debut for India in 2001, defeating UAE 1-0 in a World Cup qualifying match.

18. Gostha Pal – The first captain of the Indian national football team

Gostha Pal - The first captain of the Indian national football team

Full name: Gostha Behari Pal
Date of Birth: 20th August 1896
Place of Birth: Naria Upazila, Bangladesh
Date of Death: 8 April 1976 (aged 79)
Place Of Death: Kolkata, ‎West Bengal‎, ‎India‎
Position(s): Centre back

Here is a short life story of Gostha Pal, one of the most famous Indian football players in history. He played between the 1920s and 1930s. Gostha Pal was the first captain of India’s national football team. Pal played for Mohun Bagan for the majority of his career and is recognized as the greatest player to ever represent the oldest Indian football club. Fans also referred to him as “The Great Wall of China” or gave him that nickname. Pal was one of Indian football’s top defenders of the modern era. Gostha Pal died on April 8, 1976, at the age of 79, in Kolkata. In 1984, a statue honoring him was constructed in the Gostha Pal Sarani (named after him), near the Eden Gardens in the Kolkata Maidan district.

19. Clifford Miranda

Clifford Miranda

Date of Birth: 11 July 1982, Margao
Position(s): Attacking midfielder
Height: 1.73 m
Nationality: Indian
Teams coached: FC Goa (Caretaker manager, 2020–2020)

Clifford Miranda is a best Indian football former player and current assistant manager. In the Indian Super League (ISL), he is now Odisha’s assistant coach. Between 2005 and 2014, he represented India on the international stage, garnering 45 caps and netting a total of six international goals. He also played for the Dempo club from 2000 to 2015.

20. Anthony Pereira

Date of birth: 9 April 1982
Place of birth: Navelim, Goa, India
Height: 1.69 m
Playing Position(s): Midfielder
FIFA Goals: 03

Former Indian football player Anthony Pereira, who played for the Indian national team from 2009 to 2012, is also one of the most famous Indian football players.

21. Sushil Kumar Singh

Sushil Kumar Singh - Best Indian Football Players

Date Of Birth: 1 April 1981, Manipur
Height: 1.79 m
Weight: 72 Kg
Position: Centre-Forward
Current team: NEROCA F.C.

Chongtham Sushil Kumar Singh is a best Indian football players who played in the forward position. He also had a successful international career, and his exploits include leading the U-23 Indian team to victory in the 2009 SAFF Cup Championship.


We hope you enjoyed our article on the subject of the top 20 famous Indian players of all time. We imagine these 21 Best Indian Players of all time found helpful. These Indian players were picked up based on the official results. This page’s content is subject to change at any time. Our website ( makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the information.

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