Bengaluru FC created history after they cruised into the finals of the AFC Cup by defeating the defending champions Johor Darul Ta'zim 3-1 (4-2 on aggregate). Bengaluru FC is the first Indian club to reach the finals of the AFC Cup and brought Indian football to the limelight in Asia.
A brace from captain Sunil Chhetri and a goal from centre-back Juan Antonio secured the win for the men in Blue.
Here are five reasons why Bengaluru FC deserve to be in the finals of the AFC Cup.
#1 Never before seen professionalism in Indian football
Bengaluru FC is a club which was founded just three years ago but they have been very professional in their approach from day one. The team owners JSW Group and managing director Sajjan Jindal and CEO Parth Jindal should be given praise for Bengaluru's achievement.
Instead of setting a club for their own profit, the owners set up a truly professional club. The way Bengaluru FC is 'designed' can be compared to big European clubs.
The club's intentions were clear from the players and managers they recruited over the three years. The Blues have lost some of their key players during the past years, Sean Rooney being one of them, but the management did very well in replacing those players.
Even the team's grassroots program has been built in a very professional manner. All of Bengaluru's junior teams have been performing very well in such a short span of time and that shows how much effort the whole club has put in to develop players as well as Indian football.
All these signs of professionalism show that Bengaluru, unlike other clubs in India, is one which are in for the long haul. With that being said, reaching the AFC Cup finals will be only just the beginning for Bengaluru FC.