Many Indian football fans dream of seeing Indian Football players compete in the top European leagues, where they can showcase their skills and talents to a global audience. However, only a handful of Indian players have managed to play for foreign clubs, and even fewer have played in Europe. Here are some of the Indian players who have made their mark in European football:
The legendary striker is considered one of the best Indian players ever. He became the first Indian to play professional football in Europe when he signed for Bury FC in England in 1999. He played for three seasons with the club, scoring eight goals in 37 appearances. He also had brief stints with Perak FA and Selangor MK Land in Malaysia. He scored 3 goals in 5 matches for Selangor MK Land, and when he was on loan with Perak F.A., he scored 4 goals in eight appearances.
The current captain and all-time top scorer of the Indian national team, Chhetri is another icon of Indian football. He also had a chance to play in Europe when he joined Sporting Clube de Portugal B in 2012. He played for one season with the club, scoring 0 goals in 5 appearances. He became the first Indian to play and score in a UEFA Europa League match. He was signed for the first team, but later he could not catch up with the senior players of the Sporting Clube de Portugal and was sent to team B.
The first-choice goalkeeper of the Indian national team, Sandhu is also the first and only Indian to play in a UEFA Europa League match. He signed for Stabaek FC in Norway in 2014, becoming the first Indian to play in the top division of a European league. He made three appearances for the club, keeping three clean sheets. He also played one match in the Norwegian Football Cup, saving a penalty.
The towering defender is one of the most reliable and consistent performers for the Indian national team. He also had a brief spell in Europe when he joined HNK Sibenik in Croatia in 2011. He played for four months with the club, making two appearances. He also trained with Scottish club Rangers FC in 2013 but did not sign a contract.
The star striker of the Indian women’s national team, Devi is the first Indian woman to play for a European club. She signed for Rangers FC in Scotland in 2020, becoming the first Asian international to do so. She has scored two goals in nine appearances for the club so far, making history as the first Indian woman to score in a top-tier European league. Right now, she is playing for the Odisha team.
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