The Indian Super League is a men’s professional football league and is considered one of the top tier leagues in India alongside the I-League. It was first introduced in 21st October 2013, when the AIFF announced the formation of a new league in partnership with IMG, Reliance Industries and Star Sports. The first edition of the league was held in 2014, and was arguably the most star-studded edition in the history of ISL with legendary players like Alessandro Del Piero, Robert Pires and David Trezeguet featuring as some of the marquee players.
The 2014 ISL was contested between eight teams who played in the round robin format followed by the quarter finals and the semi finals, to decide on the teams which will play in the final. The league commenced on 12th October and the opening match was played between Atletico De Kolkata and Mumbai City FC at the Salt Lake Stadium, where ATK prevailed over Mumbai City FC with a 3-0 victory. The final was played on 20th December between Atletico De Kolkata and Kerala Blasters at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. The final was won by ATK who defeated Kerala Blasters by a solitary goal and were crowned as the first champions of the Indian Super League.
2014 ISL Player Draft
The players drafts for ISL 2014 was conducted in the same fashion as that of the college draft system used in the United States. The first draft comprised of the native Indian players and each had to select 14 native players for their team (excluding NorthEast United and Goa FC who had already selected their I-League teams, Dempo and Shillong Lajong respectively). A total of 84 Indian players were up for grabs in the first draft. Lenny Rodrigues became the first player to be picked in the draft as he was signed by FC Pune City.
The second draft was for the seven foreign players in the squad and it was participated by all the eight teams. The marquee players were not included in the draft and were signed separately by the clubs. A total of 49 foreign players were up for the grabs. The first draft was Italian defender Bruno Cirillo who was signed by FC Pune City.
With eight franchises in the league, the matches were played across eight cities. Each of team’s home stadium is mentioned below:-
|Atletico De Kolkata ||Salt Lake Stadium||68,000|
|Chennaiyin FC||Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium||40,000|
|Delhi Dynamos||Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium||60,000|
|Goa FC||Fatorda Stadium||19,500|
|Kerala Blasters||Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium||60,000|
|Mumbai City FC||DY Patil Stadium||55,000|
|NorthEast United||Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium||35,000|
|Pune City||Balewadi Stadium||12,000|
Marquee Players and Managers
|Atletico De Kolkata ||Antonio Lopez Habas||Luis Garcia|
|Chennaiyin FC||Marco Materazzi||Elano|
|Delhi Dynamos||Harm van Veldhoven||Alessandro Del Piero|
|Goa FC||Zico||Robert Pires|
|Kerala Blasters||David James||David James|
|Mumbai City FC||Peter Reid||Fredrik Ljungberg|
|NorthEast United||Ricki Herbert ||Joan Capdevila |
|Pune City||Franco Colomba||David Trezeguet|
ISL 2014 League Table
|3||Atlético de Kolkata||14||4||7||3||16||13||3||19|
ISL 2014 Final
The final was played between Atletico De Kolkata and Kerala Blasters after they made it past the semi-finals over two legs. ATK defeated Goa in penalties after both the legs ended scoreless while Kerala Blasters defeated Chennaiyin FC on 4-3 aggregate.
The final was won by ATK by a margin of 1-0 as Mohammed Rafique scored the solitary goal in injury time.
ISL 2014 Awards
|Hero of the League||Iain Hume|
|Most Exciting Player||Luis Garcia|
|Fittest Player||Jan Stohanzl|
|Golden Glove||Jan Seda|
|Emerging Player||Sandesh Jhingan|
|Goal of the Season||Kostas Katsouranis|
|Best Fans||Kerala Blasters|
|Fair Play Award||Delhi Dynamos|