The Hero Indian Super League has given us some memorable moments over the years ever since its inception in 2014. While action, drama and quality football are some of the traits that we associate with the league, it’s important to note that none of those aspects could be realized without the excellence of its players.
Here, we have a look at the Golden Boot winners who have set the Hero ISL ablaze since the start of the league.
2014 – Elano Blumer (Chennaiyin FC)
8 goals and 1 assist in 11 matches
The inaugural season of Hero Indian Super League saw some of the biggest names in the world of football make their way to the shores of India. Chennaiyin FC signed former Brazilian international Elano as their marquee player.
The creative playmaker lived up to expectations from day 1, scoring an incredible free-kick that curled into the net in the very first match against FC Goa. The former Manchester City player went on to score some brilliant goals before missing out in the latter stages due to a calf injury.
Despite the injury, Elano bagged the golden boot award for his eight goals in 11 games. Chennaiyin FC lost the Hero ISL final that year, but the Brazilian would get his hands on the prestigious trophy the following season with the Marina Machans.
2015 – Stiven Mendoza (Chennaiyin FC)
13 goals and 3 assists in 16 matches
The Colombian international was instrumental to Chennaiyin FC during their title-winning campaign in 2015. The flamboyant striker’s first season with Chennaiyin was curtailed due to injury, but his second season with the club saw him terrorize opposition defence.
He showed his scoring prowess with the first hat-trick of the season in the 4-0 drubbing of FC Goa in the league stage. Mendoza added another hat-trick to his tally against Kerala Blasters later in the season.
Mendoza played a part in all three goals in the thrilling final that season against FC Goa as well. The forward had a slew of attempts at goal and even won two penalties for his team before scoring an spectacular individual goal in the dying minutes of the final. The goal proved to be the decider and Chennaiyin FC added their first Hero Indian Super League title to their trophy cabinet.
The striker’s 13 goals made him the Golden Boot winner and also won him the Hero of the League award.
2016 – Marcelo Perreira (Delhi Dynamos)
10 goals and 5 assists in 15 matches
Marcelinho, as he’s fondly called, impressed onlookers in his debut Hero ISL season with delightful skills and clinical finishing. He announced his arrival with a brace on his Hero ISL debut against Chennaiyin FC and continued to build on what turned out to be his most prolific campaign in India.
The striker proved to be pivotal in Delhi Dynamos’ impressive march to the semi-finals, scoring 10 goals in 15 appearances for the team, including a hat-trick against FC Goa.
The Brazilian forward also formed a successful partnership with Florent Malouda and even had five assists to his name. Marcelinho currently plies his trade with Hyderabad FC and has been a part of the league in every subsequent season since his debut without ever scaling the heights of Hero ISL 2016.
2017-18 – Ferran Corominas (FC Goa)
18 goals and 5 assists in 20 matches
Hero ISL’s all-time leading goal-scorer has been as consistent as a metronome during his time on Indian shores. Since signing for FC Goa is 2017, the former Espanyol forward has notched up goals at regular intervals in every season. In his debut match, Coro netted the first goal of the 2017-18 season to start FC Goa’s campaign on a winning note.
Coro followed that dream start with two hat-tricks at home against Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters, taking a massive lead in the Golden Boot race. His goal-scoring prowess took the Gaurs to the semi-finals, where they lost to a spirited Chennaiyin FC. The forward’s tally of 18 goals in a campaign is the most by a player in any Hero ISL season.
2018-19 – Ferran Corominas (FC Goa)
16 goals and 7 assists in 20 matches
Coro continued his sublime form in the fifth edition of Hero ISL. The Spaniard clinched his second Golden Boot award by finding the back of the net 16 times in 20 matches. He rescued Goa with a brace in the opening game of the season against NorthEast United and what followed was a series of clinical performances by the striker that took Goa to the final, which they lost to Bengaluru FC.
Interestingly, FC Goa never lost a match whenever Coro put his name on the scoresheet. The Gaurs faltered at the final step but were crowned the Hero Super Cup champions that season after the Spaniard continued to deliver on the pitch. Hero ISL 2018-19 saw him win the Hero of the League award as well as the Golden Boot.
2019-20 – Nerijus Valskis (Chennaiyin FC)
15 goals and 6 assists in 20 matches
For Hero ISL 2019-20, Chennaiyin FC strengthened their forward line with the signing of Lithuanian Nerijus Valskis. The 32-year-old forward proved his worth by taking the Marina Machans all the way to the final. The go-to man for them last season, he scored almost 39% of the team’s goals.
The latest edition of Hero ISL saw the race for the Golden Boot going down to the wire. Valskis along with ATK’s Roy Krishna and Kerala Blasters’ Ogbeche notched up 15 goals each. Though Krishna had the same number of goals and assists, the Chennaiyin FC forward came out on top courtesy fewer minutes spent on the field.
By Sportz Interactive