10 Players of Indian Descent Who Have Played Abroad

India is not a major footballing nation yet, although they have made great strides in the last few years or so. Not many Indian players gain popularity around Europe, with most of them spending their entire careers in India.

However, there are some Indians or players of Indian descent who have enjoyed successful spells in European and other overseas football leagues, with the most recent one being Indian under-17 star Dheeraj Singh who is undergoing selection trials at a top tier Scottish club, Motherwell.

In light of Dheeraj's achievements, we take a look at the previous instances where an Indian player or a player of Indian descent have made a mark abroad.

10. Narsingh brothers

The Narsingh brothers, Furdjel and Luciano are descended from Indian grandparents who settled in the Netherlands. Both came through the ranks at Dutch club Ajax but have gone on to have contrasting careers at the top.

While Furdjel currently plays for Dutch second division side SC Cambuur, Luciano has made great strides across Europe and is currently in the Premier League with Swansea City. The winger has also made 16 appearances for the Netherlands national football team.

9. Vikash Dhorasoo

Dhorasoo's ancestors were originally from Andhra Pradesh but he was born in France where he enjoyed a largely successful career in the Ligue 1. The Indian origin midfielder won two league titles with Lyon while also enjoying success with Bordeaux and Paris Saint-Germain.

He also made 18 appearances for France and was part of their squad that finished as runners-up in the 2006 World Cup.

8. Harmeet Singh

Norwegian by citizenship, Harmeet is of Indian origin but has chosen to represent the country of his birth, Norway, internationally. Over the last few years, Harmeet has played for a number of top clubs, including the likes of Feyenoord and Molde. 

He currently plies his trade at Swedish club Kalmar FF. The 27 year old has also made seven appearances for the Norway international team. 

7. Roger Verdi

Born as Rajinder Singh Verdee, Verdi anglicized his name due to racism and went on to have a decent career in the United States. Born in Kenya to parents of Indian origin, Verdi came through the ranks at Wolves but was unable to make a mark in English football.

He spent his entire career in the United States, making appearances for St. Louis Stars and San Jose Earthquakes.

6. Michael Chopra

Born to an Indian father, Chopra has had a superb career in English football, having played for the likes of Newcastle United and Sunderland in the Premier League. Chopra also scored a few goals in the league and made a couple of appearances in the Champions League.

The 34 year old is most known for his spell in the Championship with Cardiff City for whom he scored over 60 goals. He recently played for Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League.

5. Danny Batth

The Wolves captain is of Punjabi origin through his father and recently expressed his desire to play for India internationally, though it remains to be seen whether that could happen. At club level, Batth has been with Wolves his entire career and is currently their club captain.

Wolves are currently leading the Championship and if they gain promotion, Batth will be leading them in the Premier League.

4. Neil Taylor

Born in Wales to an Indian mother, Taylor started with Manchester City but was released by the club at 15. He made his name playing for Swansea City in the Premier League and currently, he plays for Aston Villa in the Championship.

Taylor has also made 41 appearances for the Wales national team and was part of their squad for the 2016 UEFA Euro Championship.

3. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Having impressed for East Bengal, the India international moved to Norway where he signed for Stabaek. At Stabaek, Gurpreet was mostly second choice but was afforded opportunities in the cup competitions and became the first ever Indian to play in the Europa League.

The 26 year old made 11 appearances for the club in total before moving to Indian Super League club Bengaluru FC last year.

2. Sunil Chhetri

One of the biggest names in Indian football, Chhetri has wowed Indian audiences over the years and he is also one of the few Indians who have tried their luck abroad. He first joined Kansas City Wizards in the United States and made headlines when he played against Manchester United in the friendly.

Chhetri also played for Portuguese club Sporting CP's reserve team where he played alongside current Tottenham star Eric Dier and West Ham's Joao Mario.

1. Bhaichung Bhutia

Bhutia is considered as one of the greatest names in Indian football and enjoyed a hugely successful playing career in the country. The former Indian team captain became one of the first Indians to play abroad when he signed for English club Bury in 1999.

Bhutia spent five years at the club, making 37 appearances and scoring thrice before returning to India. The Sikkim star also played for Malaysian clubs Perak FA and Selangor MK Land.