The Hero Super Cup Dream Team
As the dust settles on a memorable inaugural Hero Super Cup, where Hero Indian Super League’s (ISL) Bengaluru FC earned the tag of being the first champions, we lay witness to a number of players who rose to the occasion for their teams and delivered stellar performances. Here we take a look at some of the best players who find a place in our all-star eleven from the Hero Super Cup.
Ubaid CK (East Bengal)
In spite of conceding four goals in the Final, Bengal custodian Ubaid CK had a tournament to remember. The 28-year-old put in a number of match-winning performances, most notably against FC Goa and Aizawl FC. His fine shot-stopping abilities and commanding presence under the sticks, coupled with two clean sheets from a probable four, earns him a deserved spot.
Kinshuk Debnath (Mohun Bagan)
The Mariners are typically known for their stinginess at the back. Their captain Kinshuk Debnath was one of the brightest sparks in the Bagan backline, given his positioning sense and strong tackling. Despite bowing out in the semi-finals, the 32-year-old had a memorable three weeks in the Hero Super Cup, painting a sturdy figure in the Bagan ranks.
Eduardo Soares Ferreira (East Bengal)
East Bengal conceded only one goal prior to the Final in the tournament and registered two clean sheets - the most by any team. Central to this impressive statistic was the defensive leadership of Eduardo Ferreira. The big centre-half marshalled his defence to perfection, ensuring that there were no leaks in the backline.
Subhasish Bose (Bengaluru FC)
Young defender Subhasish Bose enjoyed a brilliant debut season with Bengaluru. The 22-year-old was instrumental in Bengaluru’s run to the Final of the Hero ISL and continued his stellar form into the Hero Super Cup. Bose formed an excellent partnership with John Johnson, Juanan and Rahul Bheke at the back to thwart opposition advances.
Lalram Chullova (East Bengal)
Chullova was an ever-present figure in Bengal’s defensive setup. The young defender was a tireless runner down the flanks, feeding the frontmen with regular balls, while also holding his might against top strikers to ensure they don’t breach the defensive wall. His grit and determination earns him a spot on the team.
Hugo Boumous (FC Goa)
Despite playing only two games, Boumous’ outstanding displays merited him a spot in the squad. The 22-year-old was phenomenal against Jamshedpur FC, coming up with a brilliant brace, while continuously creating chances. His absence in the midfield during the semi-final fixture with East Bengal was quite evident, as Goa failed to put up a stern attacking fight.
Mahmoud Al Amna (East Bengal)
Amna’s prowess in the middle of the park was one of the major reasons for Bengal’s qualification to the Final. The Syrian came up with vital performances throughout the tournament, including a late winner against Mumbai City FC in the pre-quarter finals. His influence in the flow of play and in creating chances was one of Bengal’s biggest asset.
Katsumi Yusa (East Bengal)
Amna’s partner in the midfield and one of the most influential players in the competition, Yusa rose to the occasion in every game and was a constant threat to the opponents. The Japanese winger’s ability to run at defenders with pace and trickery proved too hot to handle for opposition teams. He also chipped in with important goals and assists.
Udanta Singh (Bengaluru FC)
The pacey winger has been one of the standout performers of the Hero Super Cup, owing to his consistent displays. Hailed as a revelation in the currently concluded Hero ISL, the 21-year-old continued his form into the competition. His pace and skill down the flanks were a nightmare for opposition defenders and an asset for the Blues.
Sunil Chhetri [C] (Bengaluru FC)
Cometh the hour, cometh the man! The Bengaluru captain has had his best season till date and deservedly finished the campaign with a trophy. The 33-year-old bagged six goals throughout the tournament - the most by any player. He led his side from the front with passion and determination, coming up with match-winning performances, that included a hat-trick in the quarter-finals and a brace in the Final.
Miku (Bengaluru FC)
The Hero of the tournament and Chhetri’s strike partner throughout, Miku has been equally effective in front of goal. The Venezuelan amassed five goals in the tournament, including a stunning hat-trick in the Semi-final against Mohun Bagan. His telepathic chemistry with Chhetri upfront, along with his ability to take oppositions by surprise with quick passing and clinical finishing, proved vital to Bengaluru’s attacking exploits.
Albert Roca (Bengaluru FC)
The Spaniard, without a doubt, deserves to manage the dream team. His tactical prowess and ability to read the opposition game well has been lauded by football experts and fellow coaches. He is the main architect behind Bengaluru’s scintillating form through the season, gifting the fans a glimpse of how complete football looks like. He deserved to end the season with a trophy after building an incredible team and ensured his team stuck to the strategies to emerge champions.