Here are the top defenders of the Indian Super League
Defense is an art in football and teams need to possess consistency with a structure. The Indian Super League is in its sixth season and over the years we have had sides that were sensible in their defensive approach. This season too, teams will want a proper shape. After listing the top strikers, here we list the best defenders of the ISL.
Bengaluru's Rahul Bheke a solid right-back on offer
Bengaluru FC's right-back Rahul Bheke has established himself as a top quality defender. The 28-year-old had a crucial time last season and played an important role in helping Bengaluru win the title. He is adventurous and thrives on overlapping runs. Bheke has been positive throughout. In 62 games, 170 tackles, 70 interceptions and 234 clearances. He has a passing accuracy of 75.11%.
Carlos Pena brings experience for the Gaurs
Spaniard Carlos Pena has immense experience and had a superb first season for FC Goa last term. The 36-year-old played almost all his career in Spain and brings in a touch of solidity in the ranks. He has grown with time in the ISL and scored his maiden goal in the opener this season. He has made 30 tackles, 26 interceptions and 101 clearances.
Tiri has established himself as a fan favorite
28-year-old Tiri is one of the favorites among the fans. The former ATK defender was signed by the club in 2015 and won the ISL trophy in 2016. He moved to Jamshedpur FC in 2017-18 and continued to show his prowess. He has played 61 games in total. Tiri has made 131 tackles, 98 interceptions, 514 clearances and 62 blocks. Those are impressive numbers.
Versatile Pritam Kotal is a pivotal defender for ATK
26-year-old Pritam Kotal has been an utility player. The versatile right-back made his debut in 2014 for the now defunct FC Pune City. He moved to ATK in 2016 and was part of their title-winning campaign. Kotal moved to Delhi Dynamos next and returned to ATK in January 2019. In 56 matches, he has made 136 tackles, 88 interceptions and 195 clearances.