Where Are Your favourite ISL Foreign Players Now? We Look at 10 of Them Who Were Fan Favourites

They mesmerized you with their skills, they dazzled you with their inch perfect passes, they stupefied you with their shot prowess. They are now gone but they have made their mark and left behind their legacy in whatever little time they were here in the Indian Super League. 


We take a look at some of the biggest names who have made their presence felt in the ISL and the clubs they are currently playing for.  



1. Stiven Mendoza

Stiven Mendoza, was completely an unknown face when he made his debut for Chennaiyin FC back in 2014 but by the second season he took the league by storm, he became the face of not just Chennaiyin FC but of Indian Super League as well. Out of the 25 Matches he played for the club, he has scored a whooping 17 goals at a staggering rate of 0.68 goals per game and still is the second highest goalscorer for Chennaiyin after Jeje.  


After the successful 2015 season with Chennaiyin, he joined MLS side New York City on loan and now recently signed up for French Ligue 1 side, Amiens for a transfer fee of  €1 Million. 

From  the ISL to now playing in the same league as Neymer, Cavani and Thiago Silva, the 25- year-old Colombian forward has certainly come a long way.  

2. Josu Currias

Josu joined Kerala Blasters in the second season of ISL and became an instant hit with the fans when he scored a sumptuous volley in the opening game against North East United. Being a La Masia product, he created ripples in the ISL with his techniques and shooting abilities. 


After the conclusion of the third season of ISL, he went back to Spain and joined Extremadura Unión Deportiva football club post which he signed up for United Soccer League Club,  FC Cincinnati. Five months later, he extended his contract with the club that would keep him in Ohio until the end of the 2018 season.

3. Borja Fernandez

This Real Madrid youth product was the midfield general for the Atletico Kolkata team for the first three season of ISL and was their first ever signing in the league, while also being the most capped player of the Kolkata side. 


Before joining ISL in 2014, he represented La Liga heavyweight teams like Real Madrid and Getafe and has represented various age group teams of the Spain National Team. After the end of the third season of ISL, he went back to Spain and signed up for 2nd Division side UD Almeria in the Janaury window, here he played 20 matches for them and scored twice. 


Post the 2016-17 season, he moved to Real Valladolid, with whom he has previously won the Segunda Division Title in 2007. Valladolid are currently plying their trade in the second division of Spanish League Football and the 37-year-old has so far has played seven league games for them.

4. Richard Gadze

An unknown face in World Football, Delhi Dynamos certainly took a risk when they signed this Ghanaian forward and fortunately for them it paid off with Gadze impressing everyone with his performances.


Delhi though shocked everyone the next year by not electing to retain the star, citing financial reasons, with Gadze then joining Azerbaijan Premier League side,Zira FC on a half year contract on 1st February 2017. Later on 30th May, Zira FC announced that Gadze will be staying at the club until the end of 2017-18 season. 


As expected from him, Gadze has been highly successful for Zira FC and even has a goal for the club in their UEFA Europa League campaign. Presently, he has nine goals in 26 outings for the Azerbaizan Premier League team.

5. Nico Velez

Hands down, Nico Velez has been the most popular player to have ever played for the North Eastern ISL team. The 27-year-old alongside Emiliano Alfaro produced some serious magic for NorthEast in the last season of ISL and not retaining him could well be their biggest mistake as they are presently languishing in ninth place in the ISL standings. 


After the conclusion of the third season in December 2016, he moved to Thailand's 1st Division side Suphanburi FC where he has scored 13 goals in 28 matches and recently in Janaury 2018 he joined Malaysian Premier League side, Negeri Sembilan FA, donning the Number.10 shirt for them. 


He along with his new teammates are now at a training camp in Cambodia and then will play a tournament in Indonesia before starting their league on the 4th of February. 

6. Pulga

Nacional Potosi, CF Rayo Majahonda and Mitra Kukar FC. These are the teams, Pulga has played for ever since leaving Kerala Blasters in the second season of ISL. 


The 32-year-old signed up for Indonesian Liga1 Team, Mitra Kukar FC in the 2016-17 season. After playing 10 games and scoring twice for them, he moved back to Spain and joined Majadahonda in the year 2017, a club that plays in the third Divsion of Spanish Football. Finally in the summer Transfer window of 2017, he joined the oldest Bolivian football Club, Nacional Potosi and have already represented them three times. 

 

Pulga was the only Kerala Blaster foreign player who was retained by the management after the first season of ISL, where his team ended up as a runner up behind ATK and he was one of the massive factors why Kerala finished second in the inaugural season of ISL.

7. Diego Forlan

On the 4th of Janaury 2018, after a one year hiatus from club football, Diego Forlan confirmed he would join Kitchee SC, one of the most oldest and presently the most successful club in Hong Kong. This was not just any signing, with this signing, Forlan became the biggest ever player to play in the Hong Kong Premier League and also the most expensive player to have played for Kitchee SC. 


Interestingly, he will be playing alongside his former Mumbai City FC teammate, Krisztian Vadocz, who has been playing for the Hong Kong side since the early 2017. Both Vadocz and Forlan will strengthen the Kitchee SC squad, who will be making their AFC Champions League debut this season.


Mumbai City always had a big name in their team since their inception, if it was Freddie Ljungberg in the first season, Nicolas Anelka in the second season, Forlan represented them in the third season and it was under his splendid goal scoring form that Mumbai finished on top in the Group Stages of ISL 3. 

8. Leo Moura

When Goa FC announced the signing of the then 37-year-old defender, nobody expected him to be the most valuable player of the tournament at the end of the season. What is more surprising is that even now at the age of 39 years, he is still playing at the top level and has already represented three different clubs ever since leaving FC Goa in 2015.


Right after the end of ISL 2, he joined Clube Atletico Metropolitano to compete in the  Campeonato Catarinense Cup which was won by the Chapecoense Club in 2016. Then in the same year he moved to Santa Cruz which was at that time playing in the topmost Football League in Brazil. He scored three goals in the 33 games he played for Santa Cruz. 


In 2017, it was announced that he has made a move to the 114 year old Brazilian 1st Division Club, Gremio. 

9. Andre Moritz

On 18th of October 2014, Andre Moritz scripted history as he scored the first ever hat-trick in ISL history. After his praise worthy performance in the first season for Mumbai, he was one of the two players who were retained by them for the next season of ISL but unfortunately, in the second season of ISL he was let go after the first match as he got into an altercation with the then Mumbai manager/player, Nicolas Anelka.


After leaving Mumbai, he went back to his parent Club, Pohang Steelers, one of the most successful South Korean teams and later in December 2015, he joined Thailand 1st Division team, Buriram United, which was his third club in the span of six months. 


In the year 2016, he moved to Turkey to play for Denizlispor where he stayed for two years until he made a recent move to Avia FC, which plays in the second tier of Brazillian league football.   

10. Andre Santos

Andre Santos had a very successful first season with FC Goa, leading them to the semi-final with his spectacular performances where he scored four goals and registered three assists, becoming a fan favourite in his short spell there.


The first club he joined after leaving FC Goa was Brazilian club Botofogo, where he played seven games before moving to FC Wil which is one of the biggest football clubs in Switzerland and he turned out to be highly successful for them, scoring nine goals in the 25 appearances he made for them.


Then in June 2016, it was announced that Santos has joined Turkish 2nd Division side, Boluspur in a two-year deal.