Five rising stars of Indian football
India might have a population of 1.3 billion, but somehow when it comes to football, our nation is yet to make its mark. India has been called 'sleeping giants' of world football, but that is all set to change with more money being invested in the sport. Here we take a look at the 5 brightest prospects of Indian football.
Dheeraj is a 17-year-old goal-keeper who will ply his trade with Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League. Dheeraj is one of India's brightest prospects and clubs like Motherwell FC, West Ham and Charlton FC have already offered him trials. The shot-stopper rose to fame after 2017 Under-17 World Cup, which was hosted in India and since then there has been no looking back.
AIFF academy product Anirudh Thapa is slowly carving a niche for himself in Indian football. One of the rising stars of the Indian national team, the 20-year-old central mid-fielder has made 3 appearances for the Blue Tigers. He is a part of the Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League. Thapa played a key role in Chennai's recent ISL triumph.
Speed gives you an advantage in football. And 21-year-old Udanta Singh has been nicknamed 'The Flash' after some sensational performances on the flanks for Bengaluru FC. Capped 10 times for India, Udanta has scored just once for the Blue Tigers. However, it's his ability to take on defenders and create assists that make him one of India's hottest footballers.
Lalruatthara is already an I-League winner with Aizawl FC. And this season, he stepped up his game with the Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League. The 23-year-old, who is naturally a full-back, played as a centre back in the ISL. He proved to be an ideal partner for Sandesh Jhingan with his no-nonsense attitude. Lalruatthara has earned two international caps for India.
This 20-year-old from Mizoram, Lallianzuala Chhangte left everybody in awe with his performances in the Indian Super League. He played for the Delhi Dynamos. He has the ability to beat 4-5 players with his speed and foot-work. Chhangte has been capped four times by India and has already scored two goals for the nation. He is the second youngest goal-scorer for India.