With the conclusion of the 2020-21 season of I-League, young Indian forward Bidyashagar Singh added a new chapter in Indian Football History by claiming the Golden Boot award after scoring a mammoth 12 goals this season. It was the fourth time an Indian player had won the I-League Golden Boot, and the first since 2014. No Indian forward had won the Golden Boot since Sunil Chhetri in 2014, which once again emphasizes how difficult it has been to find a suitable replacement for our talismanic striker. Here we take a look at all four players to achieve this rare and distinguished feat.
#4 Bidyashagar Singh
In 2020-21, Bidyashagar Singh became the latest addition to the honorable list of Indian Golden Boot winners after netting 12 goals in the I-League. A product of the East Bengal academy, he joined TRAU FC in the I-League after struggling for minutes in the East Bengal senior team. After joining TRAU, the Manipuri boy paired with fellow teammate Komron Tursunov and formed a formidable combination with the latter to run riot in the I-League. In addition, he scored two hattricks in the space of two matches, pounding Mohamedan and Real Kashmir in the process. TRAU narrowly lost out on the trophy to Gokulam Kerala FC, but Bidyshagar surely impressed many and has caught the attention of several ISL clubs.
#3 Sunil Chhetri
Bengaluru FC debuted in the I-League in 2013-14 with little expectation that they would win the tournament. However, led by India’s top goalscorer Sunil Chhetri and coach Ashley Westwood, the men in blue won the I-League in their very first season of existence. Sunil Chhetri ended up scoring 14 goals that season alongside providing 7 assists. With Chhetri’s goal-scoring valor, Bengaluru defeated title contenders such as Churchill Brothers and Mohammedan alongside Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan to win their first-ever I-League title. The final cherry on top was Sunil’s extra-time goal against Dempo in Bengaluru’s second-last I League match, which led to them lifting the trophy.