Indian Football

4 Indian male footballers who have won multiple AIFF Player of the Year awards

Arjun Singh Devgan
Sunil Chhetri has won a record 6 AIFF Player of the Year awards
Sunil Chhetri has won a record 6 AIFF Player of the Year awards / AFP Contributor/GettyImages
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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) Player of the Year awards are presented to the best footballers in India for a particular year, with the awards inaugurated in 1992. Until 2016, the men's awards were selected on the basis of voting by the coaches of the I-League, but since 2017 coaches of both the I-League and the Indian Super League (ISL) have voted for the awards.

Here, we take a look at four men footballers who have won the award multiple times.

1. Sunil Chhetri - 6 award wins

FBL-IND-CHHETRI
FBL-IND-CHHETRI / PUNIT PARANJPE/GettyImages

Sunil Chhetri is without doubt the most popular footballer in India, with the striker a talismanic presence for both club and country. The 37-year-old is not only the most capped Indian player, but also the country's all-time record goalscorer.

The striker has won the AIFF Player of the Year award a record six times so far in his career, which is the most for an Indian footballer. It will be interesting if he can add another one to his tally by the time he decides to hang up his boots.

2. IM Vijayan - 3 award wins

Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (2-L
Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (2-L / RAVEENDRAN/GettyImages

IM Vijayan is without doubt one of the greatest players in Indian football history, with the striker rising to become one of the few big football stars that came to the fore in the 1990s.

The 52-year-old was the inaugural winner of the award in 1992 and went on to win the honour twice in 1997 and 2000.

3. Bhaichung Bhutia - 2 award wins

Jubilant Indian football captain Bhaichu
Jubilant Indian football captain Bhaichu / AAMIR QURESHI/GettyImages

Bhaichung Bhutia was the first footballing superstar to come from India and is regarded as a symbol of the rise of the sport in the country with IM Vijayan famously calling him, "God's gift to Indian football".

The striker was named the AIFF Player of the Year twice in 1995 and 2008, with many believing that he deserved to win more such individual honours.

4. Jo Paul Ancheri - 2 award wins

India v Bang x
India v Bang x / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

A versatile player who could play anywhere on the field, Jo Paul Ancheri remains one of the most underrated stars to come from India and unfortunately did not get the recognition he deserved.

However, his performances were recognised by the AIFF who named the Player of the Year twice during his career 1994 and 2001 and he eventually retired from the sport in 2005.

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