Samir Subash Naik :
A Dempo SC star, Samir Naik was a one club player playing for Goan side Dempo for 19 years. The left back made 39 caps for India over a period of 10 years. He also won 3 I League titles with his club. A club legend, he retired in 2017 at the age of 37. Now, he continues to be the main man for the club as he was appointed the head coach of Dempo shortly after his retirement.
Baldeep Singh :
The midfielder most of his career at JCT. He joined East Bengal in 2014 and also played in the AFC Cup. Though after a season, he didn’t continue with the club and is without a club since then.
Mahesh Gawli :
The defender is considered to be one of the best Indian players of his generation. A hard tackler, Gawli was adept at any position of the backline. After good stints with Churchill Brothers and Mahindra United, he joined Dempo in 2007. He made over a century of appearances for the club also participating in the AFC Cup. He has had a successful decade long international career which saw him win the SAFF Cup and AFC Challenge Cup to participating in the Asian Cup.
Now 41, he serves as the assistant manager of Indian Arrows hoping to pass on his knowledge to the future generations.
Krishnan Nair Ajayan :
The midfielder from Kerala was a part of the Indian team much before the AFC Challenge Cup and he didn’t feature for the Blue Tigers after 2008. He joined Chirag United Kerala in 2011 after playing for Mahindra United and Pune FC. However he hasn’t been playing professional football since then for over a decade.
Syed Rahim Nabi :
Nabi was one of the mainstays of the Indian national team for almost a decade. He played for both the Kolkata giants after which he featured for Mumbai City and Atletico de Kolkata in the ISL. The left back was influential in India’s SAFF Cup victory of 2011 and was named the Indian Footballer of the Year 2012. Now he plays for Peerless SC in the Calcutta Football League, who are the defending champions.
NP Pradeep :
The midfielder from Kerala had a memorable career with the national team. Apart from the goals from forwards, his midfield duties were crucial in maintaining the shape of the side. He was also invloved in scoring important goals for the team. He was part of the Indian side for a period of six years. He retired after playing for Mumbai FC in the I League. After retiring he worked as a player scout for the Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) and Kerala Blasters. Currently he is a pundit in Star Sports.
Steven Dias :
The Indian ‘David Beckham’ was one of India’s important players of his time. His crossing, free kicks and wingplay from the right flank was something in which he stood out from the rest. After a domestic career which spanned for more than a decade and a half, Dias retired after playing for Mumbai FC in the I League in 2017. He also made 51 appearances for the national team.
After retirement, he worked as an assistant head coach at Jamshedpur FC. In 2020, he joined Odisha FC for the same role under Stuart Baxter. For a short period of time last season, he also stepped up as the interim head coach.
Mehrajuddin Wadoo :
The defensive midfielder from Jammu and Kashmir was one of the best from the state. He played for both the Kolkata giants. He took up the right back role in Chennaiyin FC’s title winning 2015 season. He went on to represent India till 2011. Now he is the an assistant manager of Hyderabad FC in the ISL.
Renedy Singh :
A technically skillful midfielder, Renedy Singh was no doubt one of the best players of India in the 2000s. Gifted with brilliant vision and passing ability, he was also known for his free kicks. Renedy played for both the Kolkata giants for a combined total of 10 years. He was also a mainstay in the national team for more than a decade. In 2015, he joined CSKA Sofia of the Bulgarian First Division becoming one of the few Indian footballers to play in Europe.
He turned to coaching after his retirement in 2015. He was the assistant manager at Pune City before taking on as the head coach at NEROCA FC for the 19/20 season. Currently he is the assistant manager of SC East Bengal in the ISL and also a pundit on Star Sports.
Clifford Miranda :
A well known name in Indian football in the 2000s, Clifford Miranda was one of India’s finest midfielders of his generations. After spending most of his career at Dempo, he finished his career at Churchill Brothers in 2017. He played for India till 2014 after which the then coach Steven Constantine decided to nurture youngsters for the national squad. After retirement, he worked as a coach for FC Goa reserves. He is now currently the assistant manager of FC Goa.
Climax Lawrence :
The creative midfield role for India was done by this technically adept Goan. He played in Salgaocar and East Bengal in the National Football League. He played for India till 2011. He then retired in 2018 after playing for FC Bardez in the Goa Professional League. He is now the assistant coach of Goa Professional League team Velsao SCC.
Bungo Thokchom Singh :
The forward played for India for a brief period of time till 2008. He then joined Salgaocar after which he stopped playing professionally since more than a decade.
Abhishek Yadav :
He was one of the popular strikers in Indian football at his time. A prolific striker who notably played for Mumbai FC and was the next best striker after Bhutia and Chhetri in his time. He went on to play all three matches of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup owing to an injury to Bhutia.
After retiring, he was a part in the selection process for building up the 2017 U17 World Cup team and was also the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of India’s U-17 World Cup team. He has been serving as national team’s director since 2018 and recently has been appointed as AIFF’s first deputy general secretary.