The Indian Super League (ISL) made a statement on the world football arena by announcing its entrance in a spectacular way, claiming to make India an intriguing footballing country.
While the ISL clubs signed numerous Indian players from around the country, they also acquired several overseas internationals. These individuals, known as marquee players, were contracted for large sums of pay and were extremely renowned during the championship’s early phases.
Since the ISL arrived in the Indian football arena the amount of money flowing into the sport has risen dramatically, and teams are now willing to pay a high price for the services of diverse players. Throughout the seasons, we’ve seen a number of young and veteran players perform excellently in the league, earning them a lot of praise and money.
On that note, let’s take a look at the five most expensive transfers in the history of ISL.
Most expensive transfers in ISL history
Dheeraj Singh (Rs 85 Lakh)
Dheeraj Singh joined Atletico De Kolkata from Kerala Blasters for the 2019-20 campaign, but only earned one game for them during that time. After ATK and Mohun Bagan merged, he remained a member of the ATK Mohun Bagan side, although he could only make it to the sideline.
In 2021, he left them to join FC Goa, a deal that has resurrected his career. The goalkeeper joined the Gaurs for a record fee of 85 lakhs, the highest amount ever paid for an Indian goalkeeper.
Dheeraj has risen to the top of FC Goa’s lineup, putting up strong performances in both the ISL and the AFC Champions League.
Michael Soosairaj (Rs 90 Lakh)
Michael Soosairaj was acquired by ATK in 2019 for a fee of 90 lakhs from Jamshedpur FC after three campaigns of excellent performances and good outputs for Chennai City and Jamshedpur FC.
Soosairaj was later converted from a winger to a wing-back to suit within the Habas’ back three tactics, and despite his lower goal totals, he was an important component of the 2019-20 title-winning team. Unfortunately, he sustained an ACL injury early and was only able to play 14 minutes during the entire 2020-21 season.
Liston Colaco (Rs 1 Crore)
Liston Colaco shone brightly for Hyderabad FC during the 2021/21 Indian Super League season. Liston Colaco’s achievements for Hyderabad FC impressed ATK Mohun Bagan, who spent one crore rupees to buy the starlet in April 2021.
The sum was the most costly transfer fee ever paid for a footballer from India. Colaco’s transfer to ATK Mohun Bagan would be welcomed, and the team believes he can continue to play excellently and guide them towards success.
Hugo Boumous (Rs 1.5 Crore)
Mumbai City FC confirmed the signing of Hugo Boumous from FC Goa for Rs 1.5 million in 2019. When Sergio Lobera took over Mumbai City FC after being fired from FC Goa, he signed a number of players with the club.
The offensive midfielder joined the Islanders after an outstanding 2019-20 season with the Gaurs, in which he won the ISL Golden Ball after scoring 10 goals and adding 11 assists in 15 games.
Boumous had a fantastic season with Mumbai, scoring three goals and playing a crucial part in the team’s title victory. Given how important he was to the team, it was unexpected that they let him leave.
Hugo Boumous (Rs 2 Crore)
Hugo Boumous was bought for a record transfer price by ATK Mohun Bagan from Mumbai City FC. The sum is said to be in the range of Rs. 2 crores. This transfer shattered Hugo’s previous record, which he set when he transferred from FC Goa to Mumbai City FC for 1.5 crores.
The attacking midfielder is one of the most accomplished foreign players in the ISL, having helped FC Goa and Mumbai win titles in 2019/20 and 2020/21, respectively.