Top 5 foreigners of the 2022-23 Indian Super League

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Dimitri Petratos had an excellent first season for champions ATK Mohun Bagan

As is the case in every season of the Indian Super League, we saw plenty of superb performances from top-notch overseas recruits in the 2022-23 edition as well. In defense, the foreign centre-backs proved to be unshakeable, which also helped in the development of the young Indian defenders.

There were a number of spectacular workhorses from other nations in the middle of the park, but the main area of expertise was goal-scoring, as 13 of the top 14 goal-scorers of the 2022-23 ISL season were overseas stars.

Let us have a look at the top five foreigners of the season:

#5 Odei Onaindia

Odei Onaindia was the leader of Hyderabad’s superb defensive unit

Hyderabad conceded the fewest goals in the league phase of the tournament (20), and besides goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh, credit should be given to the defensive department of the Nizams. Leading that defense was Odei Onaindia, the Spanish central defender who had a season to remember.

The Athletic Bilbao graduate played 21 matches for Manolo Marquez Roca’s team, of which he kept clean sheets in 11 games. Besides that, he also completed the most successful passes by any player from his team (675), while also making 35 interceptions.

#4 Ahmed Jahouh

Ahmed Jahouh is the perfect definition of a utility player. Although it was his sixth season in Indian football, it seemed that the Moroccan midfielder was as agile and accurate as when he first arrived in ISL. He had the most touches for Mumbai City (1536), playing a vital role in his team’s League Winners’ Shield win.

Besides that, he also had the most successful tackles (48) and second-highest interceptions (28). To top it all off, he also helped out with two goals – both against NorthEast United, and three assists – against Hyderabad, East Bengal and Kerala Blasters.

#3 Greg Stewart

Having helped Jamshedpur win the Shield in the 2021-22 ISL season, Greg Stewart arrived in Mumbai City with huge expectations on his back. But the Scottish attacker had no problems whatsoever in settling into a new team, as he bettered his numbers this season.

The Scottish Premiership-winning player scored eight goals – which included a brace against Goa, two goals against Hyderabad across two legs, and also strikes against Hyderabad, East Bengal, Kerala Blasters, and NorthEast United. Besides that, he gave seven assists against seven different teams – Hyderabad, Odisha, Jamshedpur, Chennaiyin, NorthEast United, Goa, and East Bengal.

#2 Diego Mauricio

Diego Mauricio won the Golden Boot

Having mentioned two players from the current Mumbai City team, it is now time to turn our attention to a former Islander, who rediscovered himself this season. After a poor 2021-22 ISL season where he scored just three league goals, Diego Mauricio won the prestigious Golden Boot award this time around.

Playing in Odisha colours for the second time, he scored 12 goals. The Flamengo graduate scored braces against Jamshedpur, East Bengal and Mumbai City, netted two goals in two legs against Chennaiyin, and also found the back of the net against Bengaluru, Goa, Hyderabad, and NorthEast United. For the icing on the cake, he also got four assists – three against East Bengal and the other against NorthEast United.

#1 Dimitri Petratos

While all of the four previous names on this list have been a part of the ISL prior to this season, Dimitri Petratos tops the chart for having a sensational season in what was only his first campaign in Indian football.

Coming from the A-League in Australia, where he played for the Western Sydney Wanderers, Petratos scored 12 goals and gave 7 assists for ATK Mohun Bagan. Although tied with Mauricio in terms of ‘number of goals’, the Australian striker missed out on the Golden Boot only because of having played more minutes.

He netted a hat-trick against Kerala Blasters and scored braces against Odisha in the league stage and Bengaluru in the final. Besides that, he also scored in both league meetings against Bengaluru and found the back of the net against Goa, Odisha, and in the Kolkata Derby against East Bengal. 

Two of Petratos’ assists came against the Tuskers, with the other five coming against five different teams – Chennaiyin, East Bengal, Mumbai City, Goa, and NorthEast United.