The football world majorly revolves around European leagues and countries. Top footballers from other continents play for clubs in Europe. However, in recent years, clubs from the Asian continents are becoming popular as more players are now moving there. Indian I-League is not left out; the league has some big clubs that can attract players from around the world. Here are the top five football clubs in India.
Top 5 Football Clubs in India
1. Mohun Bagan A.C.
Mohun Bagan, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest football clubs in India. The Kolkata based club was the first club to win the IFA Shield trophy in 1911.
In its more than 100 years of existence, Mohun has amassed more 250 trophies, including 13 Federation Cups, 14 Rovers Cups, 16 Durand Cups, 22 IFA Shield trophies among others. The club has produced some great Indian footballers such as Chuni Goswami, Sailen Manna, Gostha Pal and Baichung Bhutia.
2. East Bengal F.C.
East Bengal is another old club in India and an arch-rival of Mohun Bagan, who they play in the Kolkota Derby. Established in 1920, Bengal was the first club to win the NFL title consecutively for two seasons in 2002/03 and 2003/04.
The football club is owned by Quess Corporation which renamed it Quess East Bengal FC Pvt Ltd after buying back 70% of its shares. They have won 28 IFA Shield trophies, 8 Federation Cups, 10 Rovers Cups, 15 Durand Cups and 3 Super Cups.
3. Bengaluru F.C.
Bengaluru is one of the recent clubs that has established themselves among the elite football clubs in India. Founded in 2013 by JSW group, Bengaluru won the I-League in its debut season before winning it two more times. The club has also claimed the Federation Cup twice and the Super Cup once.
They won the Indian Super League in 2018/19, a season after joining the League. They represented India in AFC for four consecutive seasons, losing the 2016 final to Al- Jawiya of Iraq by a lone goal.
4. Dempo S.C.
Dempo F. C. was established in 1968 and owned by Dempo Mining Corporation. The club is based in Panjim, Goa. Nicknamed “the whites”, Dempo remains the most successful club domestically in India with five league titles.
They have also won 4 Rovers Cups and 4 Federation Cups. They won the last National Football League title and were the first club to win the maiden I-League title in 2007/08 season.
5. Salgaocar F.C.
Founded in 1956, Salgaocar was the first football club from Goa to win the National Football League in 1998/99 season. The club pulled out of the I-League in 2016/17, citing AIFF bias against the League.
They have 2 NFL titles, 3 Durand Cups, 4 Federation Cups and 3 Rovers Cups. They have also been champions of Goa League Champions Cup a record 19 times.