ISL 2020-21: Best XI from last season

From Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to Nerijus Valskis, here are the players that made it to Sportstar's Indian Super League (ISL) team of the 2019-20 season.

The 2019-20 season, the sixth edition of the tournament, saw some great performances across the field.

ATK beat Chennaiyin FC in a thrilling final to win its third Indian Super League (ISL) title in March. In what was another closely fought edition of the tournament, several players stood out with their consistent performances across the field.

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Ahead of the 2020-21 season, here are the eleven players who made our ISL team of the season from the sixth edition.

Goalkeeper: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC)

Former champion Bengaluru FC failed to defend its title this year, but its path to the playoffs can largely be attributed to Gurpreet's solid season between the sticks.

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The towering 'keeper kept 11 clean sheets - the most last season - and took home the Golden Glove award for the second season running.

Defenders: Sumit Rathi (ATK/ now with ATK-Mohun Bagan), Mourtada Fall (FC Goa/ now with Mumbai City FC), Prabir Das (ATK/ now with ATK-Mohun Bagan), Jessel Carneiro (Kerala Blasters)

Prabir Das was the breakthrough performer of last season as he excelled in his right wing-back role to lead ATK to the title.

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Having missed all of last season due to injury, Das was at his best last season, tearing down the flanks with impressive pace. He racked up five assists, which were the joint-highest for a defender.

Prabir Das was among the consistent Indian players in the previous ISL season.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

 

Youngster Sumit had a fine debut season as he formed a crucial part of ATK's title-winning defence, playing 14 games including the final. An athletic defender, Rathi made the step up from ATK's reserve side and was entrusted by Antonio Habas to fill in the left centre-back role.

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Among the few impressive players for the Kerala Blasters last year was 30-year-old Jessel, who was excellent in what was his maiden ISL appearance. The left-back was a constant attacking threat down the flanks and helped set up five assists.

He will team up with the burly Mourtada Fall in our team of the season. Fall had a fine campaign for Goa as he struck five goals and delivered three assists. His aerial presence is an asset to any team.

Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin FC), Rafael Crivellaro (Chennaiyin FC), Hugo Boumous (FC Goa/ now with Mumbai City FC), Lallianzuala Chhangte (Chennaiyin FC)

Anirudh Thapa has established himself as one of India's best midfielders and the 22-year-old enjoyed another fine season with Chennaiyin FC. His fantastic ability to read the game, thread those key passes and top-notch work-rate makes him one of the brightest footballers in the country.

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Hugo Boumous was undoubtedly the MVP of last season. The 25-year-old scored an impressive 11 goals and crafted 10 assists, leading FC Goa to the top of the ISL league table and to the coveted AFC Champions League slot.

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Hugo Boumous (right) scored 11 goals while setting up 10 for FC Goa last season – the first player to do in ISL – in the league stages.   -  ISL Sportzpics

 

The Frenchman's injury before the play-offs against Chennaiyin FC hurt Goa as he missed the first leg and only managed 23 minutes in the second leg. He will team up with his former coach Sergio Lobera at Mumbai City for ISL 2020-21.

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Rafael Crivellaro was the driving force in Chennaiyin's attack, combining well with the mid-line and crafting the inch-perfect assists for the in-form Nerijus Valskis (who has now moved to Jamshedpur FC).

Crivellaro is a tricky customer with his wily footwork and his ability to shoot from the distance, as seen in his audacious strike from 55 yards out against NorthEast United. He racked up 8 assists and 7 goals during the season.

Rafael Crivellaro scored seven times in 20 matches last season.   -  ISL Media

 

The mercurial Chhangte enjoyed his best ISL season as he struck seven goals, the most by an Indian from open play. He was also the second-highest Indian goalscorer after Sunil Chhetri. Plying down the left, he completes our four-man midfield.

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Strikers: Nerijus Valskis (Chennaiyin FC/ now with Jamshedpur FC), Roy Krishna (ATK/ now with ATK-Mohun Bagan)

Nerijus Valskis' ISL career got off to a slow start, but once the Lithuanian got started there was no stopping him. He was instrumental in Chennaiyin's run to the final as he scored the crucial goals in the clutch moments, including a 96th-minute winner against Hyderabad FC in the league stage.

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The 33-year-old struck in each of his last 10 games to rack up 15 goals and win the Golden Boot Award.

Nerijus Valskis with the Golden Boot.   -  Prashant Nakwe

 

And the one man who could be his strike partner would be Roy Krishna, who also finished the season on 15 goals. The Fijian was extraordinary with his finishing and displayed great pace and footwork. His burly physique allowed him to power his way past defenders and was an absolute delight to watch.

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Roy Krishna was a central figure in ATK's title-winning run last season.   -  ISL Sportzpics

 

He was taken off early in the first half in the final owing to a hamstring injury, much to his dismay, but deservingly ended on the winning side.

Stars who missed the bus by a whisker: Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC), Bartholomew Ogbeche (Kerala Blasters/ now with Mumbai City FC), Edwin Vanspaul (Chennaiyin FC), Redeem Tlang (NorthEast United/ now with FC Goa)
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