Indian football fans were shocked when Delhi Dynamos roped in Italy legend Alessandro del Piero last season in the Indian Super League for a price close to Rs 10 crore. This time, however, their marquee player-manager Roberto Carlos haven't costed them even half of what Del Piero costed last year.
The Times of India, in a detailed report, have revealed the best-paid players of the ISL this season, noting that none of the marquee players have costed even Rs 5 crore. The introduction of the salary cap by the ISL organisers this time has definitely done the trick, to some extent.
The eight franchisees could only spend a maximum of Rs 15.5 crore on international players, which included the marquee man, in ISL 2015. Chennaiyin FC marquee player Elano Blumer made it to the top of the list as he commands a price tag of Rs 4.8 crore.
FC Goa marquee player Lucio and Atletico de Kolkata marquee player Helder Postiga made it to the second and third position respectively.
Delhi Dynamos, as expected, remained the highest spender, with three of their players, including Carlos, featuring in the top ten list of the best-paid players in the ISL this season. The trio of Carlos, Florent Malouda, and John Arne Riise make a total of Rs 6.7 crore -- far less than Del Piero's price last year.
"None of the franchises spent recklessly this year because of the salary cap. They had to look at several players before taking a call," a senior official from an ISL team told TOI.
Kerala Blasters marquee player Carlos Marchena, who headed back to Spain without making any impact this season, commanded the lowest price in the top-ten list at Rs 1.9 crore.
No Indian player could make it to the list. Only Sunil Chhetri comes close to a certain extent after he was nabbed by FC Pune City in the ISL Player Auctions for a price of Rs 1.20 crore.
Top 10 players with the highest price tag in ISL 2015:
1. Elano (Chennaiyin FC): Rs 4.8 crore
2. Lucio (FC Goa): Rs 4.2 crore
3. Helder Postiga (Atletico de Kolkata): Rs 3.9 crore
4. Florent Malouda (Delhi Dynamos): Rs 2.6 crore
5. Nicolas Anelka (Mumbai City FC): Rs 2.6 crore
6. Simao Sabrosa (NorthEast United FC): Rs 2.4 crore
7. Roberto Carlos (Delhi Dynamos): Rs 2.2 crore
8. Adrian Mutu (FC Pune City): Rs 2.1 crore
9. Carlos Marchena (Kerala Blasters): Rs 1.9 crore
10. John Arne Riise (Delhi Dynamos): Rs 1.9 crore