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Indian Football: From Shylo 'Mama' to Jeje Lalpekhlua - The legends of Mizoram football

9:17 AM IST 03/05/21
Shylo Malsawmtluanga, Jeje lalpekhlua
Shylo Malsawmtluanga was like a godfather and an idol for Mizo footballers as he became the first player from Mizoram to represent India...

After Manipur, the state who has contributed the most to Indian football from the North Eastern part of Indian is Mizoram.

The rise of football in the state happened in the new millennium and in the last 20 years, Mizoram has produced some top quality talents.

In this article, we take a look at some of the great Indian footballers who have come from Mizoram. 

  • Shylo Malsawmtluanga Delhi Dynamos FC FC Goa ISL season 2

    #1 Shylo Malsawmtluanga

    Shylo Malsawmtluanga is a pioneer among Mizo footballers. He is the trailblazer for football players in his state and was the first player from Mizoram to play for the two Kolkata giants - Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.

    Malsawmtluanga success as a professional has inspired generations of Mizo players and almost every single player from that state thereafter have looked up to the winger including India international players like Jeje Lalpekhlua and Lallianzuala Chhangte.

    Tluanga or Mama as he was popularly known, has represented the Indian national team for several years and has played in the Indian Super League (ISL) for Delhi Dynamos in the first two seasons.

  • #2 Jerry Zirsanga

    To date, Jerry Zirsanga is the youngest Indian footballer to score a goal in international football. At the age of 16 years and 311 days, the Mizo footballer had scored a goal against Kuwait during Stephen Constantine’s first stint as India boss.

    Zirsanga had also plied his trade for the likes of Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers and Dempo SC.

  • Jeje Lalpekhlua India Macau 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers

    #3 Jeje Lalpekhlua

    Jeje Lalpekhlua is arguably the greatest Indian striker to have come from Mizoram. The India international striker has won every single trophy in Indian football with some of the top clubs in the country like Dempo SC, Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC.

    Lalpekhlua is the second-highest Indian goal scorer of all time in the ISL history and seventh-highest overall with 24 goals in 76 matches. Only Sunil Chhetri is above him in the highest Indian goalscorer's list.

    The 30-year-old forward had made his senior international debut in 2010 and since then has netted 21 goals in 56 appearances.

  • Lalrindika Ralte, East Bengal, AFC Cup 2013

    #4 Lalrindika Ralte

    Lalrindika Ralte, one of the finest players to have hailed from Mizoram played the majority of his career at Kolkata giants East Bengal. He made his professional debut with Churchill Brothers before moving to the Red and Golds.

    He was so popular at East Bengal that he was even named the club captain. And when they reached the AFC Cup semifinals in 2013, Didika was one of the key players under Trevor Morgan. 

    In the ISL, Didika Ralte has plied his trade with Mumbai City FC, ATK and NorthEast United FC.

    Didika, as he is popularly known, made his senior international debut in 2010 and the 28-year-old midfielder has appeared in 14 international games so far in his career.

  • Lallianzuala Chhangte India Oman WCQ

    #5 Lallianzuala Chhangte

    The 23-year-old India international winger is one of the finest players from the state of Mizoram. The youngster currently plies his trade with Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League (ISL).

    He made his international debut in 2015 and at that point had become the third youngest Indian goal scorer when he netted his maiden international goal against Nepal in SAFF Championship at the age of 18 years and 140 days. His record was broken after four years by Narender Gahlot in 2019.

    Lallianzuala Chhangte is also the third-highest Indian goal scorer of all time in the ISL with 19 goals in 78 matches, behind Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua.