Indian Super League (ISL) – History, All Seasons, Best Players and Upcoming Matches

Indian Super League (ISL) is a men’s professional football league in India. The League is officially known as the Hero Indian Super League for the sponsorship reasons. This is the one of the best football league in the country. The League is contested for 10 teams

Indian Super League

Indian Super League was founded on 21st October in partnership with Reliance, IMG and Star Sports. ISL was launched with the goal of improving the football and increases its exposure in India. The first season took place in 2014 with eight teams. During the first four seasons of the league, two teams have been crowned champions. ATK (Kolkata Football Team) won the first title in 2014 & 2016 and Chennaiyin are another football league which crowned the champions in both 2015 & 2017.

History of Indian Super League

History of Indian Super LeagueImage Source

In India, football existed in many forms since the 19th century with the Durand cup being founded in 1888. Before the creation of the National Football League, many clubs played in the state league or nationwide tournaments. After ten years of National Football League, the All India Football Federation which is the governing body of the sports in India decided to reformat the league to I-league with an effort to personalize the game. The league would suffer from lack of popularity due to the poor quality of football and poor marketing.

In September 2005, AIFF signed a media contract with Zee Sports, this television would telecast these leagues as well as other tournaments of it. However, the deal between AIFF andZee Sports was terminated in October 2010 due to a difference in both parties regarding the payment. After a few months, AIFF signed 700 crore deal with International Management Group and Reliance Industries. This provides exclusive commercial rights to advertising, sponsorship, broadcasting, merchandising, video, franchising and to create a new league.

In June 2013, IMG – Reliance were planning to start their own tournament for 2013 and divided the I-League into two conferences but this idea was not accepted by the League club. Even though,  IMG-Reliance had signed the number of players needed to start their own tournament.

The IMG- Reliance, Star Sports and the All India Football Federation officially launched the Indian Super League on 21st October 2013. It was announced that eight Indian Super League teams would be complete and there was high interest from IPL teams, Bollywood stars, big corporations, and other consortiums.

Finally, Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, and Kochi were selected. Sachin Tendulkar with PVP Ventures won the bid for Kochi franchise. Sourav Ganguly along with a group of businessmen won the bid for Kolkata franchise. Bollywood stars Ranbir Kapoor won Mumbai, Salman Khan bid the Pune and John Abraham owned Guwahati. Goa was won by a partnership with Videocon, Salgaocar, and I-league side.

Sunil ChhetriImage Source

Kolkata franchise was the first team to be launched officially on 7th May 2014. All eight teams were named as

  • Atletico de Kolkata,
  • Bangalore Titans,
  • Delhi Dynamos,
  • Kerala Blasters
  • Goa
  • Northeast United
  • Mumbai city
  • Pune city

On 21st August 2014, due to Bangalore’s owner dropping out it was announced that Chennai would be the franchise instead of Bangalore. Chennai team was named as Chennaiyin FC.

The inaugural season was held at Salt Lake Stadium on 12th October 2014 and Kolkata defeated the Mumbai city, 3-0. Fikru Teferra scored the first goal. Final took place at DY Patil Stadium with Atletico de Kolkata after defeating the Kerala Blasters 1-0 on 20th December 2014.

Seasons of the Indian Super League

Indian Super LeagueImage Source

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017-2018, 2018-2019 are the seasons of Indian Super League.
  • Playoff of ISL is 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017-2018
  • From 2014-2016, there were 8 teams and 14 games and during 2017-2018 10 teams and 18 games.

Champions of all season

  • Atletico de Kolkata in 2014
  • Chennaiyin FC in 2015
  • Atletico de Kolkata in 2016
  • Chennaiyin FC in 2017-2018

Runner-up of the season

  • Kerala Blasters in 2014
  • Goa in 2015
  • Kerala Blasters in 2016
  • Bengaluru in 2017-2018

Indian Super league – Mission

  • To entertain hundreds of millions of fans and to provide high-quality football league
  • To deliver value to all partners and drives improvement in playing standards.
  • To create an international quality football competition.

Indian Super league – Vision

To make India qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup and become a global football power.

Best Players of ISL

Sandesh Jhingan

Sandesh JhinghanImage Source

Sandesh is India’s best and most expensive player, who belongs to Kerala Blasters. He is 21 years old in 2014 and also he won the Emerging Player award. He signed a contract of INR.1.23 crore a season.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Gurpreet Singh SandhuImage Source

The first ever Indian football player to play in the Europa league. He belongs to Bangalore FC and has made a brave decision to leave Norway to play for his team. Sandhu readies himself to grow on biggest footballing stage in Asia. He combines with lethal captain Sunil Chhetri to make Banglore FC one of the strongest and balanced teams in the league.

Jeje Lalpekhlua

Jeje LalpekhluaImage Source

Jeje is tournament’s highest scoring Indian striker so far. He is 26 years old Mizoram striker and he has scored 13 goals in the Chennaiyin  FC ISL. he was the AIFF player of the year in 2016. He is proudly known as the Indian equivalent of Ronaldo against Messi.

Udanta Singh

Udanta SinghImage Source

21-year-old striker belonging to Bengaluru FC playing his first ISL.  He is uber-talented (super quick) for his rise through Tata Football Academy.

Kean Lewis

Kean LewisImage Source

A 25-year-old winger who has some international experience and played for the U23 Houston Dynamos. He has been picked up by Pune smartly.

Upcoming Matches : 2018-2019

The 2018-2019 league seasons is the fifth season of the Indian Super League. The regular season began on 29th September 2018 and it is to be concluded in 2019 March. There will be a break for one month due to the participation of India in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. The number of foreign players will be reduced from eight to seven in from 2018-2019 seasons.

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