The following players were consistent and made key contributions in the past year.
Football as a sport is still growing in India. In particular, Indian women’s football has come a long way in recent years, and there are now several talented players who are making a name for themselves on the domestic and international stage. In the past year, many notable individual players made a mark and became household names.
Thanks to the sensational women footballers of India, there is a growing interest in the women’s football sphere. People are taking notice and realising that there is an incredible amount of quality in women’s football as well. The level of competition is becoming intense with every passing day with both foreign and domestic players impressing the fans with their performances.
In this year-ender 2022 article, we take a look at the five top-performing women footballers from India in the concluding year:
5. Soumya Guguloth
Soumya joined ZNK Dinamo Zagreb after a successful trial this year (Courtesy: Instagram/@soumya_guguloth)
In one of the highlights of the year for women’s football, Soumya Guguloth and Jyoti Chouhan signed a year-long contract with Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb. In particular, it was a brilliant achievement for Guguloth who is a sublime finisher and an upcoming star.
She was impressive for the Indian women’s team at the 2022 SAFF Women’s Championship in Nepal. The 21-year-old scored her first-ever international goal in a 3-0 win over Pakistan and scored another in a 9-0 win over the Maldives.
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4. Anju Tamang
Tamang has established herself in India’s midfield with consistent performances this year (Courtesy: AIFF Media)
Anju Tamang is a brilliant attacking midfielder who can play multiple roles in midfield and also put a shift as a forward. The 26-year-old was also part of the Indian team at the 2022 SAFF Women’s Championships. She scored four goals in a single game against the Maldives, showcasing her goalscoring hunger.
Anju Tamang is regarded as an inspirational figure for many female footballers in India just like her colleagues. She was part of the Sethu FC squad in the Indian Women’s League 2021-22 season, helping the team finish second in the final standings.
3. Pyari Xaxa
Xaxa was in sensation form for both club and country in 2022 (Courtesy: Instagram/@xaxapyari)
Pyari Xaxa is one of the most exciting players in Indian women’s football. She dribbles with intent and finishes with precision. The forward scored 12 goals in the Indian Women’s League 2022 season for Sports Odisha.
She also scored against the United States of America’s U23 team earlier in the year. The 25-year-old has joined Odisha FC and will prove to be a significant player for them in the future.
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2. Ashalata Devi
As captain of the national team, she has been a tremendous leader ( Courtesy: AFC Media)
Ashalata Devi is one of the finest defenders that India has. Her leadership qualities and confidence on the ball put her in a league of her own. Her performances in 2022 were impressive and consistent. She led Gokulam Kerala to the Indian Women’s League title.
Ashalata Devi won the Best Defender award at the end of the tournament as well. A former AFC Women’s POTY nominee, the 29-year-old continues to play an important role for the Indian women’s team on the international stage as well.
1. Manisha Kalyan
Kalyan was by a distance India’s best performer in 2022 (Courtesy: AFC Media)
Manisha Kalyan was an outstanding performer in the year 2022. She has quickly emerged as one of the best Indian forwards. She scored 14 goals in the Indian Women’s League 2021-22 for Gokulam Kerala FC, finishing second in the scoring charts and helping the club to the league title.
The winner of the 2020-21 AIFF Emerging Player of the Year award plays as a midfielder for Cypriot First Division club Apollon FC. She also scored the winning goal in a 1-0 win over Jordan in an international friendly earlier in the year.
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