Indian men's national team - The Blue Tigers are enjoying a bit of a purple patch in the last few years having climbed to their highest ranking ever. Currently at 102, India are only a few points out of making it into the top 100. Under head coach Stephen Constantine and led by captain Sunil Chhetri, the Indian team will be looking to build on their recent success.
The Indian women's national team - Revived in 2012 after having been dormant for a while, the women's side is currently ranked 57th in the world after having hit a high of 49 five years ago. The women's game has not caught on as much as the men's has in this past decade, but efforts are on to resuscitate it. Ngangom Bala Devi currently captains the side and is coached by Maymol Rocky.
There are 10 teams playing in the I-League top division.
Minerva Punjab - The champions of 2017/18 actually started of as Minerva Academy in 2005. After debuting in the I-League 2nd Division in 2015/16, where they finished second, they were granted direct entry into the I-League for 2016/17. They have since made the huge leap to winning the league altogether in just their second top-flight season. They are coached by Manipur's Khogen Singh and owned by Ranjit Bajaj.
NEROCA FC - Just like Minerva, this team from Manipur made it's first appearance on the national stage in the 2015/16 season of the I-League 2nd Division. In the 2016/17 season, they won it and secured promotion to the top tier and stunned everyone with their remarkable run this season, finishing
second. They are coached by former India left-back Gift Raikhan. The club is owned by the North Eastern Re-Organizing Cultural Association which founded the club in 1965.
Mohun Bagan - The oldest existing football club in India, the Green and Maroon brigade are one of the most historic clubs in India. They have been national champions four times - three times in the erstwhile National Football League (NFL) and once in the I-League. Nicknamed 'the Mariners', they are currently coached by Shankarlal Chakraborty, who took over mid-season from Sanjoy Sen, under whom they won the I-League in 2014/15. Some of the biggest names in Indian football have played for the club since it's inception in 1889.
East Bengal - Arch-rivals of Mohun Bagan, the Red and Golds are the other big side from West Bengal. They have won the NFL three times, but are yet to get their hands on the I-League trophy in the decade since the start of the competition. Like with Bagan, some of the most famous managers and players have
donned the East Bengal colours. Founded in 1920, the club is currently owned by the United Breweries Group and coached by Khalid Jamil.
Aizawl FC - In existence for about 34 years now, since 1984, the team from Mizoram were the fairytale story of the 2016/17 I-League season when they won it against all odds. That was under Khalid Jamil who has since moved to East Bengal. They have been playing in the I-League 2nd Division since 2012 and
secured promotion to the top division in the 2015/16 sesaon when they became the first Mizo side to play in the top flight. Owned by Robert Romawia Royte, the team currently has Santosh Kashyap as it's head coach.
Shillong Lajong - Formed around the same time as their northeastern neighbours, Lajong have been around since 1983. The club is a conveyor belt for local talent from Meghalaya and the rest of the region and constantly produce bright, young talents every season. They are a professionally run organization by
Shillong Lajong Pvt. Ltd. They joined the I-League 2nd Division in 2009 and after just one season made their way to the main I-League. They were relegated in their first season, but bounced back soon to make it back to the top tier for the 2011/12 season. Bobby Nongbet is the current head coach.
Gokulam Kerala - Towards the end of the current campaign, they earned themselves a reputation of being giantkillers as they upset the apple cart by beating a lot of the title-contending sides. The 2017/18 season was their debut season in the I-League having been founded just a year ago in January 2017 by
the Sree Gokulam Group. They are coached by Bino George.
Chennai City FC - Despite bearing the name of another city, the club has shifted base to Coimbatore because of the presence of an ISL side from Chennai. Originally, this club was established way back in 1945 as Nethaji Sports Club by a group of friends. After playing largely in city and state leagues, they were awarded direct entry into the I-League for the 2016/17 season after the withdrawal of the Goa clubs. They finished 8th this season after finishing 10th last season. Rohit Ramesh is the President and V. Soundararajan is the head coach.
Churchill Brothers - 'The Red Machines' as they are known will unfortunately be in the 2nd Division next season after they were relegated, having finished ninth in 2017/18. The club which came into being in 1988 was started by Churchill Alemao of Goa. The team has been owned by his family from the beginning; they are in fact a constant presence at most of the home matches. Their decline though is recent, having won the I-League title twice, in 2008/09 and 2012/13. The affable Alfred Fernandes is their current head coach.
Indian Arrows - Formerly known as the Pailan Arrows, this team is the AIFF's developmental side that is used to blood youngsters by giving them a chance to compete against seasoned pros in the top flight. Luis Norton de Matos, who coaches the U17 and U19 sides, is also the coach of the Arrows. The club plays in the same colours as that of the national side. They were revived this season after the completion of the FIFA U17 World Cup last year.
Indian Super League teams
10 teams compete every season in the ISL since it began in 2014
ATK - When started in 2014, the club was called Atletico de Kolkata, due to the partnership arrangement with Spanish top flight side Atletico Madrid. The name was changed to just ATK ahead of this season after Goenka bought out the shares of the Spanish club. ATK have won the title in two of the four seasons - in
2014 and 2016. Owned by the Kolkata Games and Sports Pvt. Ltd., a consortium headed by former India cricketer Sourav Ganguly and businessmen Harshavardhan Neotia, Sanjiv Goenka and Utsav Parekh. Spaniards Antonio Habas and Jose Francisco Molina were the head coaches in their title-wiinning campaigns of 2014 and 2016 respectively.
Bengaluru FC - Having plied their trade in the I-League up until last season, the Blues from Bangalore made the switch to the ISL this season and finished top of the table in the league phase. The team was founded only this decade, in 2013, but has already established itself as a top side in Indian football in that short time. Bengaluru won the I-League title in their very first season in 2013/14 before winning it again in 2015/16. In 2014/15, they were runners-up. They have finished 1st, 2nd, 1st, 4th and 1st in their five seasons of top flight football. Owned by the JSW Group, the team is currently coached by Albert Roca
and captained by India skipper Sunil Chhetri.
Chennaiyin FC - The only other side to win the title so far in the ISL, Chennaiyin were the season two champions. They have been one of the most consistent sides in the competition along with ATK, making the playoffs in three out of four seasons. The team is jointly owned by businesswoman Vita Dani, actor Abhishek Bachchan and India cricketer MS Dhoni. They were coached by Italian World Cup winner
Marco Materazzi for the first three seasons, but appointed a new coach ahead of this season in Englishman John Gregory. The team has finished 1st, 3rd, 7th and 2nd in the league phase in it's four seasons.
Delhi Dynamos - Delhi-based DEN Networks originally founded the team back in 2014, but ahead of last season US-based GMS Inc. became the majority stakeholders in the side. The team from the capital were one of the standout sides of the 2016 season. They initially had a tie-up with Dutch top side Feyenoord, but the partnership lasted only a year. The team has made the playoffs just once in four ISL seasons so far. They are currently coached by Miguel Angel Portugal. World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta was their coach in the 2016 season.
FC Goa - Another club with a prominent cricketer involved, FC Goa are owned by the Goan Football Club Pvt. Ltd. The consortium initially had Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas Dempo as the major shareholders, but in 2016 their stakes were bought out by Venugopal Dhoot (Chariman of VIDEOCON), Jaydev Mody
and India's cricket captain Virat Kohli. Legendary Brazilian footballer Zico was the head coach of the team for the first three seasons, before Sergio Lobera was appointed ahead of the 2017/18 season. They finished runners-up in 2015, losing out to Chennaiyin and have finished 2nd, 1st, 8th and 4th in the
league phase in four seasons.
Jamshedpur FC - One of two debuting teams in the 2017/18 season, the Tata Steel-owned side impressed everyone after a slow start in their maiden appearance. They fell just short of making the playoffs, finishing 5th. The team is coached by former Manchester United man Steve Coppell, who has managed the likes of Crystal Palace, Reading in the past as well as ISL team Kerala Blasters. Indian Ishfaq Ahmed and Englishman Wally Downes are the assistant coaches.
Kerala Blasters - Nicknamed the 'Tuskers', the Blasters are owned by Blasters Sports Pvt. Ltd., of which Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar is the majority shareholder. The team has finished runner-up twice in the four seasons thus far, losing both times to ATK in the final. Steve Coppell, now head coach of
Jamshedpur, was at the helm in 2016 while former Liverpool and Portsmouth keeper David James oversaw the 2014 run. James returned for a second spell as head coach midway through this season after the sacking of Rene Meulensteen. They have one of the most passionate and vocal fanbases in Indian football, referring to themselves as 'the 12th man'. The club has finished 4th, 8th, 2nd
and 6th in the league phase in four seasons.
Mumbai City - Co-owned by actor Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh, the club from Mumbai is one of two teams from Maharashtra in the ISL. They play their home games at the Mumbai Football Arena. The club has made it to the playoffs only once however, in the 2016 season when they topped the standings. They have finished 7th, 6th, 1st and 7th in their four seasons. Costa Rican Alexandre
Guimaraes is the head coach.
NorthEast United FC - Representative of the Seven Sisters of the northeast for the constant stream of footballers that the states produce, this club is the only Indian side that stands for a region as opposed to a particular city. Owned by actor John Abraham, the club has been one of the more disappointing ones in the ISL, finishing 8th, 5th, 5th and 10th so far. They are the only team yet to make the playoffs in any season.
FC Pune City - The other team from Maharashtra, the Stallions have made the playoffs for the first time in their history in the 2017/18 season. The team is owned by the Rajesh Wadhawan Group and actor Arjun Kapoor. Serbian coach Ranko Popovic has overseen their impressive season this time around, taking them into the playoffs after the team finished 6th, 7th and 6th in the first three seasons.