Best Indian Football Players Of All Time: The Greatest Ever

Best Indian Football Players Of All Time: The Greatest Ever

Football is often referred to as ‘Sports Mundial’, meaning ‘Sport of the world’. So it’s no surprise that there are many football fans in India and each one of them has asked themselves, who are the best Indian football players, once in their lifetime. India has given some of the best players in the game of football.

Indian footballers have had the pleasure of competing against some of the best teams in the world. The governing body of football in India, the All-Indian Football Federation keeps giving young players opportunities to showcase their talent. Today we are here to list the best Indian football players of all time based on the number of goals they have scored in their career. 

Best Indian Football Players Based On The Goals Scored

Before starting the list we should tell you that this list is based on the total number of goals scored by a particular player, hence, you will not see any goalkeepers here. 

6. Magan Singh Rajvi

Born in Dheengsari, Rajasthan, Magan Singh is one of the best Indian Football players and one of the top goal-scorers in the history of Indian Football. He played internationally from 1968 to 1974. He is one of the few Indian Footballers who have a hat-trick under their name. He scored his hat-trick on 24 July 1974 against Thailand at the 1974 Merdeka Cup. Magan Singh was also awarded an Arjuna Award in 1973 for his contribution to Indian football. 

Total International Goals Scored- 15 goals in 33 games

5. Shabbir Ali

Shabbir Ali is another sportsperson who is considered one of the best Indian football players in the world. Born on 26 January 1956 in Hyderabad. He played international football for 12 years from 1972 to 1964 and as a professional football player for 10 years from 1974 to 1984. In 2011 he was awarded the most prestigious prize in India and became the first footballer to ever get the Major Dhyan Chand Award. After his career as a successful sportsman, he started coaching and preparing young talent. 

Total International Goals Scored- 23 goals in 66 matches

4. Jeje Lalpekhlua

Another one of the best Indian football players ever is Jeje Lalpekhlua who was born on 7 January 1991 in Hnahthial, Mizoram. He is one of the two active players on this list. Jeje comes from a family of football players. His brother, father and uncle, all are football players who still regularly play for their home town in Mizoram. He was one of the most promising up-and-coming talents in India but injuries and lack of on-field time have resulted in his recent downfall. 

Total International Goals Scored- 23 goals in 56 games

3. Bhaichung Bhutia

Born on 15 December 1976 in Sikkim, Bhaichung Bhutia is one of the most famous and best Indian football players ever. He is like an Indian Ronaldo and there was a time when he used to rule Indian football, from popularity to skill, he had everything. He is probably the most revered icon of Indian football. His teammate and one of the best Indian footballers, I.M Vijayan once called him “God’s gift to Indian football”. He played for the Indian team for 16 years from 1995 to 2011. He was given the nickname of Sikkimese Sniper because of the precision and speed in his kicks. 

Total International Goals Scored- 27 goals in 82 games

2. I. M. Vijayan

I.M. Vijayan is another legendary name in Indian Football. He was the captain of the Indian football team. Born on 25 April 1969 in Thrissur, Kerala, is regarded as one of the best Indian football players of all time. He stands second in the list of the best Indian football players in the world. He was also awarded an Arjuna Award in 2003 for his outstanding contributions to Indian cricket. He played for the Indian football team for 11 years from 1992 to 2003. 

Total International Goals Scored- 29 goals in 70 games

1. Sunil Chhetri

Born on 3 August 1984, in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, Sunil Chhetri is the top goal scorer and one of the best Indian football players ever. Every Indian football fan knows who Sunit Chhetri is. At an age when many people consider retirement as a viable option, Chhetri is still on the top of the sport. He is by far the most experienced Indian football player, having played more than 140 matches. It’s because of him that many people know Indian football now. The thing that is baffling is that even after achieving so much, he is still an active player. Along with being the top goal scorer in India, Chhetri is the third-highest international scorer in the whole world, behind only the best football players in the world, Ronaldo and Messi. 

Total International Goals Scored- 93 goals in 143 games

Final Thoughts

Football is not very prominent in India and neither is it very monetarily sound, nevertheless, the players mentioned above have given their lives to the sport and in doing so, became the best Indian football players of all time. 


 India stands at 102 in the FIFA ranking of the best football teams in the world. 

 Havildar Peter Thangraj is considered the best goalkeeper in Indian football. He received the award of Asia’s best goalkeeper in 1958. 

Bhaichung Bhutia is often called the torchbearer of Indian football because of the effort put in by him to get people recognition. 

 No, India has never had the opportunity to play in the FIFA World Cup. 

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