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7 forgotten footballers we can’t believe are still playing in India

The Indian Super League has seen some of the world’s greatest grace its pitches: Del Piero, Anelka, Berbatov, Pires, Ljungberg, Trezeguet, Forlan, Materazzi… the list goes on.

If we asked you to name seven Indian Super League players in 2024, however, we reckon you’d struggle. To be honest, without the internet at our fingertips, we’d probably fail miserably too. Allows us to change that for you — promise you’re gonna love it.

Say what you like about the internet, but spending a few hours reading the backstories of vaguely familiar names who have found themselves balling out in India is a great use of time, in our opinion. Cop a load of these lads.

Ryan Williams

Hardcore EFL fans know this Aussie winger from his spells at six different clubs across Leagues 1, 2, and The Championship. Williams turned out for Portsmouth, Fulham, Rotherham, Barnsley, Oxford, and Gillingham.

The one-time Australia international moved back home to Perth to represent the Glory for a year, but the travel bug is difficult to shake. He’s getting chalky boots for Bengaluru, these days.

Ryan Edwards

EFL stalwart and ex-defensive giant for the tangerine half of Dundee, Edwards was released from the SPL side at the end of last season, and has since been thwarting strikers in the Indian Super League with Chennaiyin.

Edwards has never gone a whole season without playing, despite once being diagnosed with and overcoming testicular cancer midseason. One tough bastard.

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Cristian Battocchio

For fans of niche European/South American geopolitical football culture, we’ve got another one for your Oriundi XI.

Battocchio was born in Rosario, Argentina — a good place to be born if you plan on making a career in football. As you can tell from his surname which could easily be a shape of pasta, Battocchio is of Italiano heritage, and came up via the Udinese/Watford route. Remember when that was a thing?

After Watford, the midfielder went globetrotting: Israel, Japan, Italy, Mexico, France, Greece — all over the place. And, now, India, alongside Ryan Edwards at Chennaiyin. 

Victor Vazquez

very interesting fella, is Victor Vazquez. He came up through La Masia alongside Leo Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique et al, and, if you believe the chat, was better than the lot of them.

Vazquez only ended up making 3 appearances for Barcelona, which is significantly fewer than the 778 Messi made, but still…

MLS fans will be familiar with Vazquez’s work, where he spent a couple of seasons with LA Galaxy and Toronto FC. The attacking midfielder who was once better than Leo Messi and Cesc Fabregas is now with East Bengal. Maybe Leo will follow his footsteps from MLS to India one day. Maybe…

Jason Cummings

Cummings is nothing less than a legend at his hometown club, Hibs. The man scored at least 20 goals in three consecutive seasons, and won the Scottish Cup — yes, that’s the one, when the whole stadium was belting out Sunshine On Leith, making every hair within a 25-mile radius stand up on end.

He’s played all over the EFL, he’s represented both Scotland and Australia at international level, and even went to the 2022 World Cup with the Socceroos. Some boy.

The 28-year-old is banging in goals for Mohun Bagan, these days. That’s a proper football career, that.

Soccer - Manchester Senior Cup - Final - Manchester City v Manchester United - City of Manchester Stadium. Giuseppe Rossi, Manchester United

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name these 20 forgotten Premier League players?

Tomi Juric

Juric is one of your classic Aussie/Croatian ballers carving out an interesting career for himself. His first youth team was called Hurstville Zagreb, which we misread as Hurtsville Zagreb. If we ever open an MMA gym, that’s what it’s gonna be called.

The striker won the AFC Champions League with West Sydney Wanderers, and the AFC Asian Cup with Australia under you-know-who — Big Ange Postecoglou.

Juric is now with NorthEast United in the Indian Super League — and, no, that’s not what Newcastle were called on Pro Evo 6.

Kiran Chemjong

We’re cheating a bit, here, because in order to be forgotten you have to have been known in the first place. We just wanted to give Punjab’s goalkeeper a shoutout because he’s racked up 100 caps for Nepal.

Top three Nepalese blokes of all time in no particular order: Tengzing Norgay, Kiran Chemjong, The Buddha.

Lock it in.