Best women footballers of India – Indian Women’s Football team, probably one of the most underrated teams in the world, derives its history from the 1980s when FIFA took control over it. The women’s team stood 12th in the Taiwan football competition where they drew against the powerful Netherlands and Haiti teams before eventually losing to Germany. Though they did remarkably well in that competition with the entire world taking a keen interest in them, it can be sadly stated that the standard has degraded since then. Though in recent times, the Indian Women’s Football team won the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship successively in 2010, 2012,2014, 2016, and 2019. Its high time that we acknowledge these female footballing legends for their remarkable contribution to Indian Football.
Best women footballers of India – Aditi Chauhan
The 27-year-old serves as the keeper for the Indian National Team as well as Gokulam Kerala FC. Her goalkeeping prowess helped her to become the first player from the Indian National Team to play in English League Football where she was selected by West Ham United Ladies in 2015.
Her career began when, on the motivation of her mentor and her mother, she took part in the Under-19 Delhi Football trials at the age of 15. The Indian team’s win in the SAFF Championship 2012, which was hosted in Sri Lanka, owes a great deal of credit to her. Her outstanding performance in the Indian National team led her to win the Asian Football Awards 2015.
Best women footballers of India – Bala Ngangom Devi
The 30-year-old phenomenal footballer represents the Indian National Football Team since 2005. Hailing from Manipur, this phenomenal forward player also served the society in her capacity by joining the Manipuri police force for a few years. With 36 goals under her belt, she has been an outstanding part of the Indian Women’s Football Team.
After scoring her debut goal at the young age of 15, Bala gained true international fame after she scored 4 goals for the Indian National Team against Nepal in the SAFF championships finals when they thrashed their opponents 6-0 to clinch the third consecutive SAFF champions title. After scoring 16 goals in only 5 matches in the tournament, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) awarded her the Women’s Player of the Year award in 2014. Her glory continued the next year as she won the award consecutively in 2015. In 2016, she captained the Indian National Football Team in the SAFF championship and won the title, her first as a captain. She also scored 3 goals in the 2016 South Asian Games.
Her glorious years serving the Indian National Team led her to land an 18-month contract with the Scottish Women’s Premier League club Rangers in January 2020, thus starting her career at an international club as a professional footballer.
Best women footballers of India – Oinam Bembem Devi
Known as the “Durga of Indian Football”, Oinam Bembem Devi is one of the greatest footballers this country has ever witnessed. Her remarkable career as a professional football player has led her to win the Arjuna Award in 2017. She was also awarded the prestigious Padma Shri in 2020.
She began her career in 1991 after getting selected in Manipur Under-13 Team. Her club career was remarkable. She was selected by the Yawa Singjamei Leishangthem Lekai club and then by the Social Union Nascent (SUN) Club. She also represents Manipur State Football Team since 1993, and also led her state to win the 32nd National Games held in Hyderabad when she was the skipper. She was also signed by the Maldivian Football club New Radiant in June 2014.
Her international career has been remarkable too. The 40-year-old has captained the Indian National Team which emerged victorious at the 11th South Asian Games held in Bangladesh, in 2010, and the 2012 SAFF Women’s Championship.
Being the recipient of the AIFF Woman Footballer of the Year in 2001 and then 2013, she has surely left her indelible mark in the history of Indian Football.