Feature

ISL Golden Boot winners: Valskis to Elano, know the top scorer in every ISL

Over its six seasons, the ISL has seen some prolific goal scorers. Here is the ISL Golden Boot winners list.

By Utathya Nag ·

Who will be the sharpest shooter in the latest edition of the Indian Super League (ISL)?

Given to the ISL top scorer of each season, the Golden Boot award is the holy grail for every striker and attacking midfielder playing in the competition. Fans, too, tend to follow the developments closely throughout the season.

With speculation already running wild about who will be the ISL top scorer in the 2020-21 season, here’s the full ISL Golden Boot winners list so far.

2019-20 ISL Golden Boot winner – Nerijus Valskis

Former Chennaiyin FC striker Nerijus Valskis was ISL’s top scorer of the season 2019-20 after what turned out to be the most closely-contested race to the ISL Golden Boot in the competition’s history.

Three players – Nerijus Valskis, ATK’s Roy Krishna and former Kerala Blasters FC striker Bartholomew Ogbeche – scored 15 goals in the season. While in most leagues elsewhere, including the Premier League, the award would have been shared, the case is different in the ISL.

According to ISL rules, if multiple players are tied on goals scored by the end of the season, the player with a higher assist count will win the Golden Boot. If they are equal in both goals and assists, the player having played lesser minutes claims the award.

Both Nerijus Valskis and Roy Krishna were tied at 15 goals and six assists at the end of the season, but the Lithuanian walked away with the award having played 20 matches – one less than Krishna. Although Bartholomew Ogbeche scored 15 goals in just 18 games, he was knocked out of the race since he had just one assist.

Incidentally, the Krishna-Valskis tussle was settled right on the last day of the season – the ISL 2019-20 final. Nerijus Valskis scored while Roy Krishna grabbed an assist, forcing the minutes-played differential to come into play.

Though having shifted loyalties to Jamshedpur FC for ISL 2020-21, Valskis will continue to operate under head coach Owen Coyle, whose arrival at Chennaiyin FC last season kickstarted his scoring run.

With the two working together again, it won’t be surprising if Nerijus Valskis retains his Golden Boot.

Nerijus Valskis stats in ISL 2019-10

Goals: 15

Assists: 6

Games: 20

2018-19 ISL Golden Boot winner – Ferran Corominas

FC Goa’s Ferran Corominas was the winner of the 2018-19 ISL Golden Boot award. Photo: FC Goa/Twitter

Leading the all-time ISL top scorers’ chart with 48 goals from 57 matches, it’s unsurprising former FC Goa ace Ferran Corominas or Coro will have an ISL Golden Boot to his name. Coro, in fact, has two.

The 2018-19 ISL Golden Boot was Corominas’ second one. The Spaniard scored 16 goals in 20 matches to edge out Ogbeche, then playing for NorthEast United FC, and former Mumbai City FC forward Modou Sougou - both of whom had 12 goals from 18 matches each.

Till date, Corominas is the only player to have won back-to-back ISL Golden Boot awards. He also came mighty close in 2019-20 and had 14 goals and 4 assists from 17 matches. If not for a suspension and FC Goa missing out on the final, Coro could have trumped Valskis for a hat-trick of ISL Golden Boots.

Ferran Corominas’ stats in ISL 2018-19

Goals: 16

Assists: 7

Games: 20

2017-18 ISL Golden Boot winner – Ferran Corominas

Having set foot in India after joining FC Goa from Cypriot club Doxa Katokopia, the then 34-year-old Corominas took the ISL by storm in his debut season.

Corominas scored 18 goals in 20 matches whilst laying out five assists for his team-mates. He was the ISL top goal scorer of the campaign ahead of Bengaluru FC’s Miku (15 goals in 20 matches) and Sunil Chhetri (14 goals in 21 matches).

The Spaniard scored on his ISL debut against Chennaiyin FC and followed it up with consecutive hat-tricks in his third and fourth match in the ISL. His tally of 18 goals, till date, stands as the most scored by any player in a single ISL season. It was the prolific scorer's first entry in the ISL Golden Boot winners list.

Ferran Corominas’ stats in ISL 2017-18

Goals: 18

Assists: 5

Games: 20

ISL Golden Boot winner 2016 – Marcelinho

Brazilian Marcelinho was the ISL top scorer in 2016 with 10 goals. Photo: Delhi Dynamos/Twitter

Brazilian wizard Marcelo Leite Pereira, popularly known as Marcelinho, worked his magic in the 2016 campaign, leading the erstwhile Delhi Dynamos FC to the semi-finals.

Though his team was knocked out of the semi-finals through penalties, Marcelinho emerged as the ISL top scorer for the season with 10 goals from 15 matches. ATK’s Iain Hume came in second with seven goals in 14 matches but never quite threatened Marcelinho’s charge for the 2016 ISL Golden Boot.

As many as seven players, including Uruguayan legend Diego Forlan, ended with five goals each.

Do note, until 2016 the ISL was played between eight teams before being increased to 10 in 2017-18. Consequently, the matches played were also fewer.

Marcelinho’s stats in ISL 2016

Goals: 10

Assists: 5

Games: 15

ISL Golden Boot winner 2015 – Stiven Mendoza

John Stiven Mendoza claimed the 2015 ISL Golden Boot after scoring 13 goals, including the title winner for Chennaiyin. Photo: ISL/Twitter

ISL 2015 is often remembered as the Stiven Mendoza show. It was the Colombian’s second season in the ISL, but injuries had only restricted Mendoza to flashes of brilliance in his debut campaign in 2014.

Fully fit in his second season, Mendoza terrorised defences with his blistering pace, quick dribbling, and capped them off with lethal finishes. In what was an incredible campaign, Mendoza found the back of the net 13 times in 16 games, seeing off a challenge from ATK’s Iain Hume for the ISL Golden Boot that season.

His most memorable goal of the season was the title-winning strike against FC Goa deep into stoppage time in a dramatic final. With his team trailing 2-1 at the end of the regulation 90 minutes, Mendoza’s pressure on the ball forced an own goal from FC Goa goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani.

The Colombian, however, wasn’t done. In the dying seconds, he broke away to score the winner and hand Chennaiyin FC their maiden ISL title. It was also the only time in ISL history, a player from the champion team bagged the ISL Golden boot award.

John Stiven Mendoza’s stats in ISL 2015

Goals: 13

Assists: 3

Games: 16

ISL Golden Boot winner 2014 – Elano Blumer

Elano Blumer clinched the first-ever ISL Golden Boot award playing for Chennaiyin. Photo: Chennaiyin FC/Twitter

The first player to make the ISL Golden Boot winners list was Brazilian Elano Blumer. The former Manchester City playmaker was Chennaiyin FC’s marquee player for the inaugural ISL season.

Equipped with lethal free kicks and long shots, Elano finished with eight goals in ISL 2014 – three more than any other player that season. Quite expectedly, he scored some long-range screamers en route to guiding the Marina Machans to the semi-finals.

Elano Blumer’s stats in ISL 2014

Goals: 8

Assists: 1

Games: 11

With the ISL 2020-21 season almost upon us, the Indian football fandom is already abuzz with predictions of the next ISL Golden Boot winner. Supporters, invariably, have been throwing their weights behind the offensive stars of their favourite teams.

SC East Bengal fans are pinning their hopes on Jacques Maghoma, ATK Mohun Bagan fans are rooting for the tried-and-tested Roy Krishna and the Mumbai City FC faithful are spoilt for options with both Ogbeche and Adam Le Fondre in their ranks. Every team’s fans have their own contenders.

But who will join the elite list of ISL top scorers once the dust settles in ISL 2020-21? Only time will tell.