Best XI of 2023-24 ISL season ft. Petratos, Chhangte, Ranawade, and Diamantakos

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Phurba Lachenpa won the Golden Glove award in the 2023-24 ISL season

The 2023-24 Indian Super League season concluded in the first week of May as Mumbai City came out triumphant as the 2023-24 ISL Cup Winners while Mohun Bagan Super Giant clinched the 2023-24 ISL League Winners’ Shield in the first half of April.

The record-breaking league season witnessed Indian players coming to the fore as 133 goals were scored by Indian players, 36% of the total goals scored in the season, the highest percentage for a single ISL season. 

The goals also came from various players as 63 Indian players found the back of the net, most for an ISL season along with a gigantic 55% of assists also coming from Indians while 54% of the chances were created by Indian players as well.

Without further ado, let’s have a look at the Best Starting XI with substitutes with Manolo Marquez acting as the head coach as the Spaniard was the most consistent head coach throughout the league season:

Goalkeeper: Phurba Lachenpa (Mumbai City)

Despite a lot of injuries and shuffling in defense ahead of him, Phurba Lachenpa proved why he is one of the best young goalkeepers in the country. The former Real Kashmir goalkeeper kept 9 clean sheets including a crucial shutout in the second leg of the semi-final against Goa.

Having a save percentage of 71%, Lachenpa made 42 saves winning the Golden Glove award for keeping the most clean sheets in the league despite missing a few games. In 1842 minutes on the pitch, Lachenpa faced 179 shots and conceded only 17 goals proving to be a pivotal figure in the Islanders’ squad.

Defenders: Amey Ranawade (Odisha), Odei Onaindia (Goa), Subhasish Bose (Mohun Bagan Super Giant), Jay Gupta (Goa)

At Mumbai City, Rahul Bheke’s acquisition meant an end to the road, albeit temporarily for Amey Ranawade who went out on loan to play under a familiar face in Sergio Lobera at Odisha and the young starlet enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Kalinga Warriors.

Ranawade finished joint-fifth highest in the list of most assists in the ISL season and made 29 interceptions and 35 successful tackles ranking high in almost every list of offensive and defensive metrics.

Odei Onaindia arrived at a new club and made a successful partnership in the heart of defense with Sandesh Jhingan and then renewed an old partnership with Nim Dorjee Tamang to stabilize the Gaurs’ defense in the 2023-24 ISL season. The Spaniard made 30 interceptions and was a rock at the back as Goa kept 9 clean sheets, the joint-highest in the tenth season of the league.

Likewise, Subashish Bose played a similar role for the Mariners as Anwar Ali, Brendan Hamill, and Hector Yuste kept interchanging the other two positions while Bose was a mainstay on the left side of the three-man backline.

Bose recorded 1705 touches, the second-most touches for an Indian player and third-most overall in the just-concluded league season. The Kolkata-born defender was the point of contact between the defense and the midfield helping in several transitional plays throughout the season.

Jay Gupta was the rising star of the tenth ISL season as the well-built defender flourished at left-back for Goa keeping the left side strong and stable throughout the season which was crucial given the uncertainty in other positions of the team.

Gupta recorded 1744 touches on the ball, most for an Indian player and second overall, only behind Ahmed Jahouh who was the lynchpin of the Odisha midfield. The 22-year old full-back scored 2 goals, both of them against Odisha and provided 3 assists including an assist against Mumbai City in the first leg of the semi-final.

Midfielders: Lallianzuala Chhangte (Mumbai City), Apuia (Mumbai City), Puitea (Odisha), Madih Talal (Punjab)

Lallianzula Chhangte became the first Indian to score 10+ goals in an ISL season twice

Lallianzuala Chhangte was the difference maker in the last couple of weeks as the the Mizo-born winger was in red-hot form during the playoffs. Often playing without an overseas player in the attacking unit, the Islanders never felt a difference as the duo of Chhangte and Vikram Partap Singh kept the goals ticking in whenever required.

Chhangte scored 10 goals and 6 assists, a statistic that is an exact replica of the last season when he won the Golden Ball award but the 26-year old upped his game in the playoffs this time around scoring 3 goals over the two legs of the semi-final against Goa.

Apuia scored a solitary goal and provided a couple of assists as well but the Aizawl-born midfielder showed tactical astuteness to even replace Yoell van Nieff in the No.6 role for Mumbai City in the final as the Dutch midfielder was suspended for the crucial encounter.

Putting in 27 successful tackles along with 19 interceptions coupled with earning 43 fouls, the most for an Indian player in the 2023-24 league season, Apuia proved to be a dynamic ever-present player in the midfield of the Andheri-based club.

Along with Jahouh, Puitea turned out to be a crucial player for Odisha in the midfield as he played 1830 minutes, the most for the central midfielder in an ISL season. When Lobera signed the midfielder ahead of the season, nobody thought Puitea would manage 22 interceptions and 20 successful tackles along with helping in transitional play in the midfield.

Madih Talal is the only player to feature in the starting XI from a club that finished outside the playoff places as the Frenchman scored 6 goals and provided 10 assists, the most in the 2023-24 ISL season.

Apart from the goalscoring contributions, Talal created 57 chances and earned 71 fouls, the most by far in the league season with the second-ranked Javi Hernandez earning 48 fouls.

Strikers: Dimitrios Petratos (Mohun Bagan Super Giant), Dimitrios Diamantakos (Kerala Blasters)

Dimitrios Petratos finally laid his hands on the Golden Ball award

Dimitrios Petratos missed out on the Golden Ball award last season and finally managed to bag the coveted prize as he helped Mohun Bagan Super Giant win the League Winners’ Shield and even provided an assist in the final of the 2023-24 ISL season.

Petratos recorded 17 goalscoring contributions with 10 goals and 7 assists in his bag despite playing in a withdrawn role as Jason Cummings or Armando Sadiku were being preferred to be the main No.9 upfront.

Dimitrios Diamantakos won the Golden Boot award for scoring 13 goals despite featuring for only 1334 minutes in the 2023-24 ISL season. Apart from 13 goals, the former Olympiacos striker also provided 3 assists and could have bagged the Golden Ball if he didn’t miss the run-up to the playoffs along with the Blasters’ Eliminator against Odisha.

The Greek striker scored three braces with all couplets coming against Mohun Bagan SG, Goa, and Chennaiyin, three sides who finished in the Top 6 of the 2023-24 league standings alongside Kerala Blasters.


Sachin Suresh; Rahul Bheke, PC Laldinpuia, Aakash Sangwan, Anirudh Thapa, Manvir Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Vikram Partap Singh, Noah Sadaoui, Roy Krishna.

The substitutes’ bench boasts of several players that also scripted history as Manvir Singh was a constant live-wire down the right wing for Mohun Bagan Super Giant as he provided 7 assists, the joint-most for an Indian player in a single ISL season. Apart from that, Manvir scored 4 goals in the season including the goal against Odisha in the semi-final.

Brandon Fernandes also scripted a record as he created the most chances for an Indian player in a single ISL season (60) to support Noah Sadaoui who was the shining light for Goa in a season where the Gaurs put together the longest unbeaten streak in ISL history which ran from October to February.

Vikram Partap Singh also enjoyed a brilliant breakthrough season and won the Emerging Player of the Season award scoring 8 goals and 4 assists to provide impetus to the Islanders’ season which ended with the trophy in the bag. On the other hand, Roy Krishna did his best for Odisha and scored 13 goals and provided 3 assists, the same as the Golden Boot winner but played more minutes in the league season, hence, missing out on the coveted prize.

Sachin Suresh was having an excellent season for the Blasters and kept 6 clean sheets in 14 completed ISL fixtures and could have won the Golden Glove award had he not picked up an injury which derailed his and the club’s season midway. Rahul Bheke, PC Laldinpuia, and Aakash Sangwan complete the trio of backups for the defensive positions.