From Del Piero to Pires: 5 European legends who have played in the ISL

Alessandro Del Piero played for Delhi Dynamos in the ISL
Alessandro Del Piero played for Delhi Dynamos in the ISL / SAJJAD HUSSAIN/GettyImages

The Indian Super League (ISL) is without doubt the best and most competitive league in India, with the league overtime becoming a boon for the country as it not only led to development of youngsters, but has also given us players who will go on and play for the nation in the future.

The ISL is also known for a number of top foreign stars choosing to participate in the league, with their arrival not only helping in grabbing eyeballs, but also they ensured that the Indian players could learn from their experience and achievements.

Here, we look at five European legends who have played in the league.

1. Alessandro Del Piero (Delhi Dynamos)


Delhi Dynamos completed a coup when they managed to sign Italian and Juventus legend, Alessandro Del Piero in 2014 for the inaugural ISL season.

Despite the fanfare, the striker managed to score only one goal in 10 appearances for the club, which came from a free-kick in a 2-2 draw against Chennaiyin.

Delhi finished in fifth place, failing to reach the play-offs by a single point, with the Italian legend leaving at the end of the season.

2. Alessandro Nesta (Chennaiyin FC)

Alessandro Nesta
Frosinone Calcio v SS Lazio - Pre-Season Friendly / Giuseppe Bellini/GettyImages

Another Italian legend who had a stint in the ISL was Alessandro Nesta, who was brought to Chennaiyin FC by his former Italian team-mate, Marco Materazzi.

Nesta made his debut for the club on 9 December in a 2–2 draw against Delhi Dynamos, with the defensive legend making only three appearances for the club.

3. Robert Pires (FC Goa)


The Arsenal and French legend, Robert Pires came out of retirement at the age of 40 to play for FC Goa in 2014 after becoming their marquee signing.

The 1998 World Cup winner was eventually released by the club on 13 March, 2015 after making eight appearances for them, during which he scored a solitary goal.

4. David Trezeguet (Pune City)


The former France and Juventus striker, David Trezeguet signed for Pune City on 30 July, 2014 and made an immediate impact as his debut goal for the club gave them their first win of the tournament.

The 1998 World Cup winner only went on to score one more goal and eventually left Pune City after making nine appearances for them.

5. Freddie Ljungberg (Mumbai City)


Sweden and Arsenal legend, Freddie Ljungberg came out of retirement in 2014 to sign for Mumbai City by becoming their marquee signing.

His stint was cut short due to persistent back problems, with the winger deciding to end his contract after playing only four games, post which he returned to London.