Can there be an Indian Diaspora XI?

Footballers of Indian Diaspora Ruling Top Leagues of Europe.

As an Indian, it is always a joy to watch a fellow Indian perform at the top levels in their career, be it entertainment, corporate, or sports. Currently, the Indian national team does not allow foreign-born players to play for the country. However, countries like France, who allow foreign-born nationals to allow for the national team, have had massive success in terms of international football (World Cup and the Euros), ruling the game for nearly half a decade. Countries like China and Qatar, ahead of the World Cup 2022 have called up foreign nationals to their squads, bolstering them enough to challenge for a berth in the 8 groups of the World Cup. Igor Stimac, coach of the Blue Tigers, is pushing for the same in this nation.

If and when it is allowed, India will have an array of brilliance to select and bring on the pitch. A year or two of playing time together and they can take India to a much higher podium. And in this space, we pick out the best Indian Diaspora XI.

Goalkeeper: Karman Saini

Not the biggest name on this list, Saini is a Canadian goalkeeper, currently out of contract and without a club. He last played for Swedish club Husqvarna FF, where they finished sixth in the top tier of Swedish league.

Right Back: Nicholas Prasad

Canadian-born Prasad’s preferred position is centre-back but plays as a right back regularly for German club Bischofswerdaer FV 08 who play in the Regionalliga. Before coming to Europe, Prasad played at Seattle Redhawks, where he spent four seasons carrying the ball up and defending air balls like a champ.

Centre Back: Netan Sansara

A towering centre-back, known to score crucial goals for the clubs he’s played at, Sensara is a journeyman of football, currently playing for his 11th professional club. He’s played for clubs across Europe, starting his career in Walsall, England. His parents were born in the UK but grandparents hailed from India.

Centre Back: Danny Batth

Former Wolverhampton Wanderers FC captain, he played regularly in the English Premier League but was later moved on to Stoke City as he was not in the plans of the then coach/manager Nuno Espirito Santo. Batth’s family hails from Punjab. He has expressed his desire to play for the Blue Tigers and even met the then coach, Stephen Constantine.

Left Back: Neil Taylor

One of the highest rated players on this list, Taylor is a Welsh left back who’s mother hails from Kolkata. Taylor is the first British-Asian to play in the premier league and has made over 250 appearances in the top tier of English Football. Neil has also made 40 appearances for Wales and represented them in UEFA Euros 2016, where they reached the semi-finals.

Left Winger: Omid Singh

Aged 27, Omid Singh is Iranian, where he was born and raised by his father, who still holds an Indian passport. He is regarded as one of the best PIOs to not play for the country.

Centre Midfielder: Harmeet Singh

Born in Norway, Harmeet Singh is one of the most talented midfielders who can really affect the shape and play of the AIFF. Praised by none other than Pep Guardiola, he controlled the game well during a friendly for his club Valerenga against FC Barcelona. His parents belong to Ludhiana and he has represented Norway in all age groups and now for the senior team as well.

Centre Midfielder: Sarpreet Singh

Born to Indian parents in Auckland, New Zealand, Sarpreet went to German giants Bayern Munich where he was praised on his debut and even got compared to Mesut Ozil. The playmaker currently plays for Jahn Regensberg, on loan from Bayern Munich. Singh caught the eye of the Bayern scouts during U-19 FIFA World Cup in Poland and ex coach Niko Kovac helped fast track him into the senior side.

Central Attacking Midfielder: Yan Dhanda

Liverpool prodigy Yan Dhanda had immense potential, so much so that he was on the verge of breaking into the senior team. Dhanda was born to an English mother and a Punjabi father and came into the spotlight in 2015 when he became the first Indian origin to sign a professional deal with Liverpool. He has also represented England at U-16 and U-17 levels.

Right Winger: Luciano Narsingh

A versatile winger, Narsingh is best known for his deep crosses, smooth dribbles and fox like pace. He’s currently employed by Eredevisie’s Feyenoord and represents the Dutch national team. His grandparents hailed from Andhra Pradesh, India and he has played for Swansea City as well as PSV Eindhoven previously.
Striker: Joy Krishna

Atletico de Kolkata’s prolific striker Joy Krishna took them to their third ISL title, where he scored 15 times in 21 games. An absolute deadly finisher of the ball, Joy Krishna represents Fiji on international level, scoring on 29 occasions in 40 appearances. Krishna’s ancestors sailed off to Fiji about a century ago in search of better opportunities.

Substitutes (Special Mentions):

Dilan Markanday (Tottenham Hotspurs U21)

Harpreet Ghotra (Frankfurt)

Joshua Pynadath (AFC Ajax)

Dylan Lall (Brighton & Hove Albion)

Luther Singh (FC Copenhagen)

The following image represents how the Blue Tigers could line up, should PIOs and OCIs are allowed to represent the country. Needless to say, we can put up a decent team and see the magic on the pitch finally happen.

Aadhar Singh

Aadhar Singh, a young lad hailing from Delhi, India is currently pursuit of central government employment studying in Mumbai. An enthusiastic football fan, his favourite team is Arsenal FC. Loves writing and playing football occasionally

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