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Jeje Lalpekhlua and Ranti Martins have been voted by their fellow professionals as the top players in India.

Lalpekhlua (pictured) received his Indian Player of the Year award from one of the country's greats, Baichung Bhutia, at a ceremony in Mumbai. Lalpekhlua caught the eye of his peers in a Mohun Bagan side that finished second in the 2016 I-League, won the Federation Cup and reached the last 16 of the AFC Cup.

The annual awards, organised by the Football Players' Association of India, FPAI, also recognised Martins as Foreign Player of the Year. The prolific Nigerian striker, who is reportedly looking for a new club, topped the I-League scoring chart, for the second consecutive year, with 12 goals in 16 appearances for East Bengal.

Young Player of the Year Udanta Singh, 19, helped Bengaluru to the I-League title, with the club also through to the quarter-finals of the AFC Cup, an annual competition for Asia's developing nations. No Indian club has ever won the AFC Cup.

Bengaluru's Ashley Westwood picked up the prize for Coach of the Year, while goalkeeper Debjit Majumder won the affection of the fans for his shot-stopping heroics at Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan.

The second half of 2016 will be dedicated to the Indian Super League (ISL), now in its third year. The eight-team competition has been introduced to help reinvigorate football in a country dominated by cricket. Lalpekhlua, the highest scoring Indian in the ISL, helped Chennaiyin FC to the title in 2015.

FPAI Award Winners 2016

  • Indian Player of the Year - Jeje Lalpekhlua
  • Foreign Player of the Year - Ranti Martins
  • Young Player of the Year - Udanta Singh
  • Fans' Player of the Year - Debjit Majumder
  • Coach of the Year - Ashley Westwood


Photo (left to right): Jeje Lalpekhlua; Ashley Westwood; Udanta Singh; Ranti Martins.