Indian Football

5 footballers who scored the most international goals for India

Arjun Singh Devgan
Chhetri is the greatest goalscorer in Indian football
Chhetri is the greatest goalscorer in Indian football / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

Indian football has time and again produced some incredible players who have mesmerised fans for generations to come.

On an international stage however, there are just a few who have showcased their ability on the international stage.

We take a look at the top five goalscorers in international games for India:

1. Sunil Chhetri - 80 goals

Sunil Chhetri
Chhetri is one of the highest active goalscorers in international football / Matthew Ashton - AMA/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 all-time record goalscorer for India, but also the country's most capped player.

Chhetri has played a key role in all of India's success in the recent past and it will be interesting to see how many more goals he adds to his tally before eventually deciding to retire from the sport.

2. I.M.Vijayan - 29 goals

Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (2-L
Vijayan is one of India's greatest / RAVEENDRAN/GettyImages

I.M.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 has won numerous honours for India, including being named a three-time AIFF Player of the Year.

3. Bhaichung Bhutia - 26 goals

Bhaichung Bhutia, India
Bhutia put India on the footballing map / PRAKASH SINGH/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 another legend in I.M Vijayan famously calling him, "God's gift to Indian football".

The 45-year-old who is the only Indian to be inducted into the Asian Hall of Fame scored 26 goals during his career, with a number of them being crucial to India's success on the pitch.

4. Shabbir Ali - 23 goals

Shabbir Ali, Indian football
Shabbir Ali is a legend of Indian football / Deccan News

The first Indian to be awarded the Dhyan Chand award, which is highest award in Indian sports for lifetime achievement is Shabbir Ali - with the former striker also holding the record for scoring the fastest hat-trick for an Indian footballer.

The 66-year-old had netted a hat-trick in the first 35 minutes against Indonesia in the 1976 Merdeka international football tournament and went into management post retirement.

5. Jeje Lalpekhlua - 23 goals

Jeje Lalpekhlua
Jeje could have been a huge success story in Indian football / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

It is unfortunate that Jeje Lalpekhlua has failed to live up to his talent, though he has still put in decent performances during his career. The 31-year-old has been impressive when donning the national colours, playing a key role in their three SAFF Championship wins in the past.

The striker last represented India in 2019 and he will definitely look to make a comeback in the near future.