In its inaugural season, the Indian Super League football tournament has 'routed' the Indian Premier League in terms of fee paid to its marquee players. The IPL, a T20 tournament owned by the super-prosperous Board of Control for Cricket in India, is among the hottest properties in international sport, but the ISL has matched it in terms of riches.
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the costliest player when IPL began in 2008. Chennai Super Kings paid a whopping USD 1.5 million (approximately Rs 6 crore) to rope in Dhoni for the first three years of the tournament. By contrast, Delhi Dynamos, one of the eight franchise-based ISL teams, have reportedly paid an astounding Rs 11 crore (USD 1.8 million) to secure the services of Italian striker Alessandro Del Piero, virtually in the final stages of a terrific international career.
A 2006 World Cup winner, Del Piero is getting almost double (the US Dollar has strengthened over the years) than what Dhoni received as a frontline international star six years ago. Del Piero, pushing 40, was the world's richest player in 2000. He was named by Pele among the world's 125 greatest living footballers. The fact that he scored close to 300 goals for Juventus was enough for Del Piero to command a hefty ISL pay cheque. (Del Piero ready for India stint)