The countdown to the Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 is very much in the final stages.
With the seventh season of India’s domestic football league all set to get underway in Goa from November 20, teams are busy putting the final touches to their preparation.
For the first time in the history of the competition, 11 ISL teams will be vying for the coveted title after Kolkata-based legacy club SC East Bengal’s inclusion in the league.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the 11 ISL teams:
ATK Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan – East Bengal’s arch-rivals - will be a part of the ISL this season. Bagan, however, has merged with 2019-20 champions ATK and will participate in ISL 2020-21 as ATK Mohun Bagan FC - a brand new entity.
Over the past six seasons, ATK was the most successful team in the ISL, having won the ISL trophy three times.
Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, has an illustrious 131-year-old history behind them and won the I-League – officially India’s top-tier league till last season – in the 2019-20 campaign before the merger and subsequent transition into the ISL.
ATK Mohun Bagan coach: Antonio Lopez Habas (Spain)
ATK Mohun Bagan full squad
Indian players: Arindam Bhattacharjee (GK), Dheeraj Singh (GK), Arsh Anwer Shaikh (GK), Avilash Paul (GK), Aryan Lamba (GK), Sandesh Jhingan, Pritam Kotal, Sumit Rathi, Prabir Das, Subhasish Bose, Manvir Singh, Pronay Halder, Michael Soosairaj, Michael Regin, Sk Sahil, Engson Singh, Ankit Mukherjee, Jayesh Rane, Boris Singh, Glan Martins, Md Fardin Ali Molla
Foreign players: Roy Krishna (Fiji), David Williams (Australia), Javi Hernandez (Spain), Edu Gracia (Spain), Tiri (Spain), Carl McHugh (Ireland), Brad Inman (Australia)
ATK Mohun Bagan past ISL results
For ATK Mohun Bagan, 2020-21 will be the first season of ISL as the newly merged entity. ATK, however, has been a part of the competition since 2014. Here’s how they fared.
2014 - champions
2015 – semi-finalists
2016 – champions
2017-18 – ninth
2018-19 – sixth
2019-20 - champions
SC East Bengal
ISL debutant SC East Bengal enjoy a special place in Indian football and turned 100 years old in 2020. The Red and Golds, as they are popularly known as, are three-time National Football League (predecessor to the I-League) champions.
The Kolkata club has also been one of the most prominent Indian sides on the Asian stage, having won the ASEAN Championships in 2003 and featured in the AFC Cup eight times.
SC East Bengal coach: Robbie Fowler (England)
SC East Bengal full squad
Indian players: Debjit Majumder (GK), Sankar Roy (GK), Rafique Ali Sardar (GK), Mirshad Michu (GK), Narayan Das, Gurtej Singh, Balwant Singh, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Milan Singh, Abhishek Ambedkar, Anil Chawan, Lalramchullova, Mohamed Irshad, Rohen Singh, Mohammed Rafique, Rana Gharami, Samad Ali Mallick, Bikash Jairu, Haobam Singh, Loken Meitei, Yumnam Singh, Wahengbam Luwang, Girik Khosla, Sehnaj Singh, Surchandra Singh, CK Vineeth, Harmanpreet Singh
Foreign players: Jacques Maghoma (Congo), Matti Steinmann (Germany), Anthony Pilkington (Ireland), Danny Fox (Scotland), Aaron Holloway (Wales), Scott Neville (Australia)
SC East Bengal past ISL results
This will be SC East Bengal’s first ISL.
Kerala Blasters FC
One of the original eight ISL teams, Kerala Blasters FC has featured in two ISL finals but is yet to win the title. Kerala, however, has failed to qualify for the playoffs since 2016.
The Kochi-based team, however, is arguably one of the most well-supported teams in India but will have stiff competition this season with East Bengal and Mohun Bagan’s arrival.
Kerala Blasters FC coach: Kibu Vicuna (Spain)
Kerala Blasters FC full squad
Indian players: Bilal Khan (GK), Prabhsukhan Singh Gill (GK), Muheet Sabir (GK), Albino Gomes (GK), Abdul Hakku, Lalruattharra, Sandeep Singh, Nishu Kumar, Denechandra Meiti, Jessel Carneiro, Prasanth K, Seityasen Singh, Rohit Kumar, Givson Singh, Jeakson Singh, Nongdamba Naorem, Rahul KP, Sahal Abdul Samad, Ayush Adhikari, Ritwik Das, Arjun Jayaraj, Lalthathanga Khawlhring, Shaiborlang Kharpan, Naorem Mahesh Singh
Foreign players: Bakary Kone (Burkinabe), Gary Hooper (England), Sergio Cidoncha (Spain), Vicente Gomez (Spain), Facundo Pereyra (Argentina), Costa Nhamoinesu (Zimbabwe), Jordan Murray (Australia)
Kerala Blasters FC past ISL results
2014 - finalists
2015 – 8th
2016 – finalists
2017-18 – sixth
2018-19 – ninth
2019-20 – seventh
Two-time champions, Chennaiyin FC is the second-most successful team in the ISL after ATK. The Marina Machans were the finalists last season after an incredible surge late in the campaign. They, however, will be with a new coach and a very new-look team in ISL 2020-21.
Chennaiyin FC coach: Csaba Laszlo (Hungary)
Chennaiyin FC full squad
Indian players: BY Revanth (GK), Vishal Kaith (GK), Karanjit Singh (GK), Samik Mitra (GK), Reagan Singh, Balaji Ganesan, Lalchhuanmawia, Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Deepak Tangri, Aqib Nawab, Remi Aimol, Abhijit Sarkar, Anirudh Thapa, Dhanpal Ganesh, Thoi Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Srinivasan Pandiyan, Germanpreet Singh, Aman Chetri, Rahim Ali
Foreign players: Eli Sabia (Brazil), Memo Moura (Brazil), Rafael Crivellaro (Brazil), Enes Sipovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Jakub Sylvestr (Slovakia), Esmael Goncalves (Guinea-Bissau), Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev (Tajikistan)
Chennaiyin FC past ISL results
2014 – semi-finalists
2015 – champions
2016 – seventh
2017-18 – champions
2018-19 – tenth
2019-20 – finalists
By the time Bengaluru FC made its transition to the ISL in the 2017-18 season, the Blues were already two-time I-League champions. Bengaluru continued its winning trend in the ISL as well.
Led by India football team talisman Sunil Chhetri, Bengaluru FC lost out in the final in its debut season before finally ending ATK and Chennaiyin’s monopoly on the title in ISL 2018-19. Bengaluru FC is also the only Indian team to have reached the final of the AFC Cup.
Bengaluru FC coach: Carles Cuadrat (Spain)
Bengaluru FC full Squad:
Indian players: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Lalthuammawia Ralte (GK), Lara Sharma (GK), Sharon (GK), Rahul Bheke, Pratik Chaudhari, Harmanjot Khabra, Ajith Kumar, Wungngayam Muirang, Joe Zoherliana, Parag Shrivas, Biswa Darjee, Ajay Chhetri, Namgyal Bhutia, Suresh Wangjam, Naorem Roshan Singh, Amay Morajkar, Huidrom Thoi Singh, Emanuel Lalchhanchuaha, Sunil Chhetri, Ashique Kuruniyan, Udanta Singh, Edmund Lalrindika, Leon Augustine, Thongkhosiem Haokip
Foreign players: Fran Gonzalez (Spain), Juanan Gonzalez (Spain), Dimas Delgado (Spain), Erik Paartalu (Australia), Cleiton Silva (Brazil), Kristian Opseth (Norway), Deshorn Brown (Jamaica)
Bengaluru FC past ISL results
2017-18 – finalist
2018-19 – champion
2019-20 – semi-finalist
Like Bengaluru, Jamshedpur FC marked its entry in the ISL in the 2017-18 campaign when the number of ISL teams increased from eight to 10. But Jamshedpur hasn’t yet shown the steel to progress to the playoffs despite coming close on two of its three seasons.
Jamshedpur FC coach: Owen Coyle (Scotland/Ireland)
Jamshedpur FC full squad
Indian players: TP Rehenesh (GK), Pawan Kumar (GK), Niraj Kumar (GK), Raj Mahato (GK), Vishal Yadav (GK), Narender Gahlot, Joyner Lourenco, Ricky Lallawmawma, Sandip Mandi, Subhash Barua, Laldinliana Renthlei, Karan Amin, Manash Protim Gogoi, Amarjit Kiyam, Jackichand Singh, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Mobashir Rahman, Bhupender Singh, Billu Teli, Harsha Parui, Jitendra Singh, Manisana Singh, Gaurab, Gorachand Mandi, Sapam Kennedy Singh, Aniket Jadhav, William Lalnunfela
Foreign players: Aitor Monroy (Spain), David Grande (Spain), Nerijus Valskis (Lithuania), Peter Hartley (England), Alex Monteiro (Brazil), Stephen Eze (Nigeria), Nicholas Fitzgerald (Australia)
Jamshedpur FC past ISL results
2017-18 – fifth
2018-19 – fifth
2019-20 – eighth
Despite reaching the playoffs five times in its six ISL seasons, FC Goa is yet to win the title. FC Goa, however, is known for its flamboyant attacking football, a tradition started by their first head coach Zico – the legendary Brazilian.
FC Goa -- also referred to as the Gaurs -- had finished at the top of the table by the end of the league phase last season but was knocked out in the semis. Consequently, it earned a spot in the AFC Champions League and is set to become the first Indian club to feature in Asia’s top continental competition in the upcoming season.
FC Goa coach: Juan Ferrando (Spain)
FC Goa full squad
Indian players: Mohammed Nawaz (GK), Naveen Kumar (GK), Antonio D'Silva (GK), Shubham Dhas (GK), Sanson Pereira, Seriton Fernandes, Leander D'Cunha, Mohamed Ali, Sarineo Fernandes, Aibanbha Dohling, Saviour Gama, Lenny Rodrigues, Nestor Dias, Princeton Rebello, Brandon Fernandes, Phrangki Buam, Redeem Tlang, Makan Winkle Chothe, Alexander Romario Jesuraj, Flan Gomez, Seiminlen Doungel, Aaren D'Silva, Devendra Murgaonkar, Ishan Pandita
Foreign players: Ivan Gonzalez (Spain), James Donachie (Australia), Edu Bedia (Spain), Alberto Noguera (Spain), Jorge Ortiz (Spain), Igor Angulo (Spain)
FC Goa past ISL results
2014 – semi-finalists
2015 – finalists
2016 – eighth
2017-18 – semi-finalists
2018-19 – finalists
2019-20 – semi-finalists
NorthEast United FC
Representing the seven states of northeast India, NorthEast United FC is known for relying heavily on local players from the region. Mostly featuring very young squads, the Highlanders have reached the playoffs only once in its six-season stay in the ISL. NorthEast United is one of the original eight ISL teams.
NorthEast United FC coach: Gerard Nus (Spain)
NorthEast United FC full squad
Indian players: Subhasish Roy Chowdhary (GK), Sanjiban Ghosh (GK), Gurmeet Singh (GK), Nikhil Deka (GK), Ashutosh Mehta, Gurjinder Kumar, Mashoor Shereef, Nabin Rabha, Nim Dorjee, Provat Lakra, Rakesh Pradhan, Wayne Vaz, Lalengmawia, Lalrempuia Fanai, Rochharzela, Imran Khan, Britto PM, Ninthoi, Lalkhawpuimawia, Suhair VP, Pragyan Gogoi
Foreign players: Benjamin Lambot (Belgium), Kwesi Appiah (Ghana), Idrissa Sylla (Guinea), Luis Machado (Portugal), Dylan Fox (Australia), Federico Gallego (Uruguay), Khassa Camara (Mauritania)
NorthEast United FC past ISL results
2014 – eighth
2015 – fifth
2016 – fifth
2017-18 – tenth
2018-19 – semi-finalists
2019-20 – ninth
Mumbai City FC
Based in the financial capital of India, Mumbai City FC has been part of the ISL since its inception back in 2014 and has finished in the final four twice. Last season, however, the team found a new majority owner in the City Football Group – the owners of Premier League giants Manchester City.
The new association and investment may just make the Islanders the team to watch out for in ISL season 7.
Mumbai City FC coach: Sergio Lobera (Spain)
Mumbai City FC full squad
Indian players: Amrinder Singh (GK), Nishit Shetty (GK), Phurba Lachenpa (GK), Vikram Singh (GK), Valpuia, Mandar Rao Dessai, Mehtab Singh, Tondonba Singh, Sarthak Golui, Amey Ranawade, Mohamad Rakip, Pranjal Bhumij, Raynier Fernandes, Rowllin Borges, Saurav Das, Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, Vikram Pratap Singh, Asif Khan, Bidyananda Singh, Bipin Singh, Farukh Chaudhary
Foreign players: Mourtada Fall (Senegal), Ahmed Jahouh (Morocco), Hugo Boumous (France/Morocco), Bartholomew Ogbeche (Nigeria), Hernan Santana (Spain), Adam Le Fondre (England), Cy Goddard (Japan)
Mumbai City FC past ISL results
2014 – seventh
2015 – sixth
2016 – semi-finalists
2017-18 – seventh
2018-19 – semi-finalists
2019-20 – fifth
Formerly known as Delhi Dynamos FC, Odisha FC came to be when the team shifted base to Bhubaneswar, Odisha, from Delhi leading up to the 2019-20 season. In its first-ever season as Odisha FC, the team finished sixth despite enduring a horrific start to its campaign.
Odisha FC coach: Stuart Baxter
Odisha FC full squad
Indian players: Ankit Bhuyan (GK), Arshdeep Singh (GK), Kamaljit Singh (GK), Ravi Kumar (GK), Gaurav Bora, George D'souza, Hendry Antonay, Kamalpreet Singh, Mohammed Dhot, Saurabh Meher, Shubham Sarangi, Baoringdao Bodo, Isak Vanlalruatfela, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Lalhrezuala Sailung, Nandhakumar Sekar, Paul Ramfangzauva, Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Thoiba Singh, Vinit Rai, Laishram Singh, Daniel Lalhlimpuia,
Foreign players: Diego Mauricio (Brazil), Marcelinho (Brazil), Manuel Onwu (Spain), Jacob Tratt (Australia), Cole Alexander (South Africa), Steven Taylor (England)
Odisha FC past ISL results
2019-20 – sixth
(As Delhi Dynamos)
2014 – fifth
2015 – semi-finalists
2016 - semi-finalists
2017-18 – eighth
2018-19 – eighth
Like Odisha FC, Hyderabad FC entered the ISL fold in the 2019-20 season. Hyderabad FC, though, is a completely new club which replaced the now-defunct FC Pune City. Based out of the city of Hyderabad – which till the 70s was a hub for Indian football – the club represents an attempt to revive the love for the beautiful game in the city of Nawabs.
The club has also signed a three-year strategic tie-up with Spanish club Marbella FC.
Hyderabad FC coach: Manuel Roca
Hyderabad FC full squad
Indian players: Laxmikant Kattimani (GK), Manas Dubey (GK), Subrata Pal (GK), Lalbiakhlua Jongte (GK), Akash Mishra, Asish Rai, Chinglensana Singh, Dimple Bhagat, Kynsailang Khongsit, Nikhil Prabhu, Sahil Panwar, Abhishek Haldar, Adil Khan, Sahil Tavora, Halicharan Narzary, Hitesh Sharma, Laldanmawia Ralte, Mark Zothanpuia, Mohammed Yasir, Nikhil Poojari, Souvik Chakrabarti, Sweden Fernandes, Ishan Dey, Lalawmpuia, Liston Colaco, Rohit Danu
Foreign players: Aridane Santana (Spain), Odei Onaindia (Spain), Joao Victor (Brazil), Lluis Sastre (Spain), Fran Sandaza (Spain), Joel Chianese (Australia)
Hyderabad FC past ISL results
2019-20 – tenth
Note: The teams are subject to change.
Each of the ISL teams can register a maximum of 35 players (up from the regular 26 due to COVID). Every squad needs to have a minimum of five and a maximum of seven overseas players with one from an AFC-affiliated country.
A maximum of five foreigners can be on the field at any given time for any team.