Who is Dempo's Player of the Season?

Goal.com names the top three stand-out performers for the Champions in 2011-12 and then declares the overall winner. Have your say below
By Kaustav Bera

Dempo SC have been crowned I-League champions for the year 2011-12 and they seal their name as the most successful club in the I-League era with three titles in their kitty. They have done it in style this year too, with one match still to go.

Key to Dempo's championship winning team was ruthlessness in front of goal where the forwards were at their marauding best amassing a massive tally of 56 goals in 25 matches (the highest in the league) while conceding a measly 21, which was a testament to their miserly defence.

Although the entire team contributed in their own way to this crown, some of the players did stand out above the rest. They were instrumental in leading Dempo to their 5th title of India's top tier football league. They were one of the reasons that the big Kolkata powerhouses have still not managed a single I-League title till date.

Below, in alphabetical order, are Goal.com's three nominees for Dempo’s player of the season, based on their club performances in all competitions. We then cast our vote at the bottom before leaving it up to you, the readers, to have your say.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 17 6 0 2 0
Fed Cup 3 1 0 0 0
Total 20 7 0 2 0

Clifford Miranda has been in sensational form this season. Although deployed on the wings, he has scored almost a goal every three games demonstrating his goalscoring prowess. He often cuts inside and has an almost unstoppable shot on him as he also demonstrated when on duty with the national team in the SAFF Championship. He has also been instrumental in creating space for the other attackers to run on, as his mazy runs drags out the defenders from their position.

Miranda has made the left flank his own playground, with a brilliant understanding with Debabrata Roy as they complement each other. His tireless displays have won over the hearts of all Dempo supporters as he gives his all for the team. Early goals against the likes of Pune and Mohun Bagan have allowed the team to stamp their authority and dominate the opposition from the word go.

Competition Games
Sent off
League 17 1 0
Fed Cup 3 0 0
Total 20 1 0

Dempo have conceded only 21 goals this campaign, second only to Salgaocar with 19. Mahesh Gawli has been instrumental in this miserly performance at the back which has steered Dempo's championship winning run. His experience has also allowed the creative midfielders in front of him to play their natural game.

That Dempo have kept a remarkable 11 clean sheets this season is also testament to Gawli's incredible work at the back. Comfortable on the ball and never the one to commit needless challenges, he has never been sent off and has only been booked once. Incredible stats for a centre-back. Moreover with Gawli announcing his retirement from the national team, Dempo can extract even more out of the veteran defender.

Competition Games
Goals Assists Booked
Sent off
League 24 31 5 0 0
Fed Cup 3 1 0 0 0
Total 27 32 5 0 0

Ranti Martins has continued his incredible goal scoring prowess from last season when he was the top scorer of the I-League. With an incredible 31 goals he sits pretty with the closest competitor Odafa 6 goals behind. Dempo have won each and every match where the Nigerian has scored from open play, without exception.

In the first 7 matches, where Dempo went on an incredible winning streak of 7, Ranti was on the scoresheet in each of these matches and it is only when he failed to score that they went down to Churchill Brothers. Adding to his incredible performances was a virtuoso performance against Sporting Clube de Goa where he singlehandedly massacred the whole Sporting defense scoring all four of his team's goals.


Sporting Goa (a) W 4-1

Mohun Bagan (h) W 5-0

Mumbai FC (h) W 4-0

It is often said that it's easy to get to the top, but less so to stay there. Whatever the case, Ranti has backed it up yet again with a season full of five-star performances. Goals have rained down, with the Nigerian proving he has that knack of the typical striker who, with his presence alone, can change the fortunes of an entire team.

The repetition of such a stand-out performance is a massive boost for Dempo. Any team which have ambitions to reach to the very top must have a striker of a very highest level in their armoury. And the Goan champions, as long as they hold on to their most prized asset are well aware that they have someone who can sniff out a goal from a mile far. However media reports suggest that Ranti is on his way out and Dempo should try their level best to retain their star performer.

Who Has Been Dempo's Player of the Season in your view? Let us know by commenting below...

Follow Kaustav Bera on 

How do you stay up to date with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com – your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.