ISL 2018-19: 10 Foreign Football Players to look out for

5 min read

Here are 10 foreign football players that are ready to set the bar high in this season’s ISL.

  • Kalu Uche – The deadly Nigerian striker is all set to show off his moves in a different team this season around. He was signed by ATK for a mega-deal making him one of the highest paid players in the ISL. He was in great touch last season when he netted 13 goals for Delhi Dynamos. Truly, in a season where Delhi lacked any shine, he was the only bright spot. Under Steve Coppell, he will be looking to better his last year’s tally. ATK played on the inaugural fixture and you would expect something better or something football from Steve Coppell’s men. Kalu Uche will surely be vital to team’s chances.
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  • Bartholomew Ogbeche – Another big Nigerian and another big money transfer. Ogbeche was signed by North East United FC to bolster their chances of qualifying for the playoffs for the first time. Ogbeche gives them a really good reason to believe that they can. One look at his Wikipedia page will give out details more than you were hoping for. He has been a constant in his last team Willem II which played in the Dutch Topflight. His stats are very impressive and make for a good look. Even in the 2017-18 Eredivisie, he scored 10 goals in 20 appearances. He rose through the ranks in PSG making his debut with the PSG senior team and also represented the country in 2002 World Cup.
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  • Andrija Kaludjerovic – Delhi Dynamos had a dismal last season. The change in team management, finishing in the bottom of the league table and their star striker Kalu Uche leaving for another ISL team. The Dynamos were quick to announce Spanish Gambau as their coach. Gambau quickly pounced on the opportunity to buy Kaludjerovic. Kaludjerovic finished as the highest goal scorer for his Australian A-league side Wellington Phoenix. He was also on the top of the charts when playing for Red Star Belgrade. He has played for leagues in China, Spain, Serbia, Switzerland, Lithuania, and Australia.
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  • Paulo Machado– Mumbai City FC secured the services of this Portuguese midfielder for a period of one season. He rose through the ranks in Porto FC and made his senior debut under the then head coach Jose Mourinho. The Islanders’ coach Jorge Costa who is also Portuguese will be counting on the fellow Portuguese to be the puppeteer in the midfield. Machado has played in Ligue 1 for Saint-Etienne and Toulouse before representing Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb. He has quite an experience in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League with more than 50 appearances. He will be crucial to the Islanders’ playoff chances this season.
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  • Cyril Kali – The 34-year-old French defender was signed by David James having seen him play in the Greece Super League for the last 10 years. This will be Kali’s first stint outside Europe and will be a totally new experience for him. Kali will be another armor in the Blasters’ back line. They have season campaigners Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, and Nemanja Lakic-Pesic. Although he played in the left back position for Melbourne City FC, it will be interesting to see how he lines up in James’ squad given his natural affinity to the Centre Back position.
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  • Manuel Lanzarote – The FC Goa star performer will be in different colors this time around. After refusing to renew his contract with the Gaurs, Steve Coppell grabbed the chance to sign the Spanish winger. He had an incredible outing in 2017-18 with 13 goals and 6 assists. He will be looking to form a formidable partnership with Nigerian Kalu Uche and Brazilian Everton Santos. ATK has also announced him as their captain for the upcoming season. The 2-time champions will improve their chances this time around after a dull last season and a pathetic display in their first fixture against Blasters.
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  • Marcelinho – Pune City FC have managed to retain their star performer of the last season. The Brazilian winger scored 8 times and assisted 7 times in the last season which included a hat-trick against NEUFC. In 2016, he won the golden boot with 10 goals. His partnership with Emiliano Alfaro will be the deciding factor in the team’s chances. Alfaro amassed 9 goals last season. One more than his teammate Marcelinho. Marcelinho inspired the Stallions to a first-ever semifinal appearance and will hope to carry on from where they left.
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  • Miku – Nicolas Ladislao Fedor Flores or commonly known as Miku set ablaze the ISL in his debut season. He scored 15 goals in their season. Bengaluru FC, the new entrants then finished as the runners in the league. He finished agonizingly short of the golden boot and the ISL title. This year, with the BFC managing to retain the core of the team, they will look for some more inspiration from this guy and go the distance. Miku showed a glimpse of what he can do with a thunderous strike to seal 3 points for BFC in their first fixture against defending champions.
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  • Ferran Corominas – Corominas netted an incredible 18 goals in 20 appearances and was awarded the golden boot. His partnership with Lanazarote threatened defenses and the Gaurs were scoring for fun. The Spaniard decided to stay in FC Goa despite attracting interest from various clubs. FC Goa finished an impressive 3rd in the standings only to be edged out by Chennaiyin FC in the knockouts. The Gaurs, under Sergio Lobera, will be hoping to better their last year’s form.
Ferran Corominas Telechea of FC Goa during match 40 of the Hero Indian Super League between NorthEast United FC and FC Goa held at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati India on the 6th January 2018
Photo by: Arjun Singh / ISL / SPORTZPICS
  • Tim Cahill – Arguably, no holds barred, without an inch of doubt, the best signing this season to happen was Tim Cahill. Jamshedpur FC pulled off a coup with this signing. The 38-year old record goal scorer for Australia chose ISL as his next destination and probably the final. Jamshedpur FC are new kids on the block and having the wisdom of Cahill would be invaluable. Cahill will have three of his countrymen by his side. Jamshedpur, this season will be coached by ex-Atletico boss Cesar Ferrando. It’s a long season for38-year old but Cahill, if anything, has always defied odds to be on the top.
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Thoroughly believe in the motto 'A life without sports is a life wasted' which was coined a long time ago by my father. If not for writing on sport, I'd be on a couch watching a sports channel and dissecting it to needless levels. Thus, the high number of ranting posts. The only other thing I'm good at is unsuccessful bottle flips.

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