No wonder football is now competing with other sports in India. When it comes to the Indian female football team, they have come a long way in the past few years. They are making India proud on the domestic and international stages. However, when it comes to Indian female football players, they are still facing unwanted gender discrimination. The best Indian female football players are not supported and admired the way male football players are in the country.
Be it salaries, prize money, or exposure, women’s football is treated differently in India. Despite the discrimination and lack of recognition that they deserve, Indian female footballers have risen at the club and international levels like never before. After facing a lot of obstacles, they are creating new benchmarks and taking the game of women’s football to new heights with every passing year.
The top Indian female football players are not taking anything to heart and are beating the intense competition faced by foreign and domestic players with their impressive performances.
This is why it is essential to celebrate the talented and beautiful female football players of India. Here are some incredible female football players who have made everything possible despite the odds. (Excited to know about your favorite celebrity – Bollywood Actresses Who Married Businessman)
1. Shanti Mallick
From 1975 to 1991, Indian women’s football was handled by WFFI, and it operated under the Asian Ladies’ Football Confederation. Unfortunately, the ALFC wasn’t recognized by FIFA or the AFC, which eventually rendered multiple matches as well as competitions for the national team unofficial. Despite all of this, the Indians were dominating during that time in Asia and were runners-up in the 1979 and 1983 AFC Women’s Championships. Also, they finished third at the 1981 edition held in Hong Kong.
During that time, Shanti Mallick was the star of the Indian women’s team. She is a great scorer and the best female footballer. She belonged to Bengal and was an accomplished cricketer, hockey player, and handball champion. Her football achievements were not much appreciated, but Shanti was the pioneer of Indian women’s football. She was also the first female football player awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1983. (Want to hire your favorite celebrity but don’t know how – 7 Tricks To Attract Celebrity And Influencers & Get A Response In 2023)
2. Bala Devi
The striker Bala Devi is another one of the best female football players. She has made her place in the football history of India. She came to the senior team when she was 15 years old and has been a mainstay since 2005. Bala has an unbelievable scoring record, racking up 52 goals in 58 international games. She was a two-time AIFF women’s player of the year in 2014 and 2015.
Also, she signed an 18-month contract in January 2020 with the Scottish Premier League side. Bala has a prestigious No. 10 jersey for the Scottish women’s team. On 6th December 2020, she became the first Indian woman who scored in a professional football league in Europe. However, she left the club in 2021 due to an ankle injury. (Want to know who your favorite celebrity use Rolls Royce – 5 Richest Bollywood Actors Who Own Rolls-Royce Cars)
3. Ashalata Devi
Ashalata is known to be the successor to Bembem’s throne as the captain of the Indian women’s national team. She represented India in the Olympics-qualified campaign held for Tokyo in 2020. Also, she led the entire team to the 2019 South Asian Games title. She, as a hard-tackling defender, has been with the senior team since 2012.
Ashalata was also one of the final three players who got shortlisted for the AFC Player of the Year award in 2019. She even got named alongside the amazing Li Ying of China and the eventual winner, Saki Kumagai of Japan. She has even played overseas, turning up for Maldivian football club New Radiant during the Dhivehi Premier League. (You will love to read this information – Indian Famous Celebrity Brand Ambassadors For Indian Cars)
4. Aditi Chauhan
Another one of the best female football players is Aditi Chauhan. Bala was not the only Indian player to practice her trade in Europe. Aditi, the national team goalkeeper, played for the West Ham Ladies team during the Women’s Premier League Southern Division. This was the 3rd-division semi-professional league that happened in England. Also, Aditi was with the Hammers from 2015 to 2018.
She won the Women in Football Award in 2015 at the third Asian Football Awards that happened in London. Aditi has been the first-choice goalkeeper for the Indian women’s national football team. She even played an essential role during the second round of the Olympic qualifiers, among various other successes in 2018.
5. Oinam Bembem Devi
Oinam Bembem Devi is from Manipur. She joined the senior Indian women’s national team when she was 15 years old. She served the Indian football team for 21 years before retiring in 2016.
She, as a midfielder, played around 85 matches and scored 32 goals for the national team. Bembem’s captaincy resulted in winning three back-to-back SAFF Cup titles in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Plus, it led to the winning of two South Asian Games gold medals.
On a personal level, Bembem was known as AIFF’s first-ever women’s 2001 Player of the Year, and she won again in 2013. This stamped her name as one of the best women’s football players in India. In 2017, Bembem was the second female football player to receive the Arjuna Award after Mallik. After three years, she created history by becoming the first woman footballer to get the Padma Shri Award.
Bembem’s impact was unmatchable, which is why she is called the Durga of women’s Indian football. Many female football players in India are inspired by her. She is coaching now and is pushing the women to become the best versions of themselves. She helped the Eastern Sporting Union Football Club of Manipur get the IWL title back in 2017. Bembem is also involved with the women’s national teams like Under-15, Under-16, and even Under-17.
She is an inspiration when it comes to women’s football in India. As per Bala Devi, she has received all the possible awards that a player should get. (Want to play Indoor games then visit 15 Indoor Games Similar To Dumb Charades)
There are many of the best women’s football teams in the world, but there is no doubt that the Indian women’s football team and its players are climbing the success and growth ladder like never before. The above-mentioned female football players of India are nothing short of an inspiration for aspiring female footballers.
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