India, known primarily for cricket, has also begun to embrace football as a popular sport. The launch of the Indian Super League (ISL) in 2013 marked a new era in Indian football. As the ISL nears its tenth season, certain clubs have emerged as the front-runners, dominating the league and achieving domestic and continental success. This article takes a look at some of the most successful ISL clubs over the years.
ATK Mohun Bagan: Kolkata’s Green and Maroon Warriors
Formed in 2020 as a merger between ATK and Mohun Bagan, ATK Mohun Bagan has swiftly become one of the most formidable teams in the ISL. Based in Kolkata and inheriting the passionate fanbase of Mohun Bagan, ATKMB has won the ISL title twice, in 2020-21 and 2021-22. They finished runners-up in 2019-20. Under the coaching of Antonio López Habas and Juan Ferrando, ATKMB has built a strong squad led by star Indian striker Roy Krishna. With a balanced mix of domestic and foreign recruits, ATKMB will look to consolidate their dominance in upcoming ISL seasons.
Mumbai City FC: The Islanders’ Rise to Glory
Though formed only in 2014, Mumbai City FC has quickly become a force to reckon with. After modest beginnings, Mumbai City shot to prominence when they appointed experienced English coach Jorge Costa in 2017. Under Costa, Mumbai reached the play-offs twice, before finally winning their maiden ISL title in 2020-21 under Sergio Lobera. They demonstrated excellent squad depth with players like Mourtada Fall, Ahmed Jahouh and Bipin Singh rising to the occasion.
Lobera’s departure in 2021 saw Des Buckingham take over as head coach. Mumbai City will aim to emerge as Western India’s premier football club in the coming years. In the 2023/23 season, the team repeated the success and won the league title. The betting analysts consider Mumbai City as favorites for the 2023/24 season. You can make sure of this after the Mostbet account login.
FC Goa: The Gaurs and Their Possession Game
Based in Goa, a state known for its football culture, FC Goa has been one of the ISL’s standout teams. They won the ISL League Winners Shield in 2020-21 for most points accrued in the regular season. The Gaurs have reached the ISL finals thrice, losing on all occasions. However, under coaches like Sergio Lobera and Juan Ferrando, FC Goa gained a reputation for an attractive possession-based brand of football. Quality foreign recruits like Edu Bedia, Jorge Ortiz, and Igor Angulo complemented talented Indians like Brandon Fernandes and Lenny Rodrigues. Despite some high-profile departures recently, FC Goa will look to get back to the ISL summit in the coming seasons.
Bengaluru FC: The Southern Powerhouse
Founded in 2013, Bengaluru FC rapidly gained success after joining the ISL in 2017. Under coach Carles Cuadrat, they were ISL champions in 2018-19, led by star striker Sunil Chhetri. They also finished ISL runners-up twice. The Blues are known for their fitness, work ethic and organized defending. With passionate crowds filling their Kanteerava Stadium and shrewd recruitment like Udanta Singh and Gurpreet Sandhu, Bengaluru FC has emerged as southern India’s premier club. Recent seasons have seen a slight dip in performance. Bengaluru will be hungry to recover their past glory in upcoming campaigns.
The Road Ahead for Indian Football
While cricket remains India’s most popular sport, football is surely catching up, riding on the success of the ISL. More quality foreign players are now joining ISL clubs as the league gains global recognition. Corporate funding for clubs is attracting better infrastructure and coaching. Young Indians are taking up football as a serious career option. The ISL’s emerging rivalries and star players are enticing new fans. As Indian football grows, the successful ISL clubs highlighted here will look to build on their achievements and carry Indian football to greater heights.