A new era had begun for Indian football followers, when the Indian Super League was launched amidst heavy doses of fanfare and media attention in Kolkata. ISL’s first season was quite a buzz, appealing to the people within the country and globally as well. After five successful seasons, ISL is all set to kick start its sixth season with ATK set to take on Kerala Blasters on Sunday, October 20th in Kochi.
That being said, let’s take a quick sneak peak at the winners of the last four seasons.
|2019-20||Atlético de Kolkata||3-1||Chennaiyin FC|
|2018-19||Bengaluru FC||1-0||FC Goa|
|2017-18||Chennaiyin FC||3-2||Bengaluru FC|
|2016-17||Atlético de Kolkata||1-1(4-3) pen.||Kerala Blasters|
|2015-16||Chennaiyin FC||3-2||FC Goa|
|2014-15||Atlético de Kolkata||1-0||Kerala Blasters|
ISL 2019-20 Cup Winners: ATK
Followed by the name change in 2018-18, Atletico de Kolkata were known by ATK. The Kolkata side welcomed back Antonio Lopez Habas and brought several changes to the roster after two disappointing seasons. Riding on the class of Roy Krishna and David Williams upfront, ATK looked unstoppable. They met Chennaiyin FC in the final in Goa. The Red and Whites ran out comfortable 3-1 winners.
The ISL 2019-20 season was special because the league was awarded the AFC Champions League Group stage slot for the 2020-21 season. The league winners, FC Goa who were the most consistent side of the league were awarded the ISL League Winners shield. FC Goa will become the first ever Indian football club to play in the AFC Champions League Group Stage in the 2020-21 season.
ISL 2018-19 Winners: Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC became the first ISL team to beat the monopoly of Chennaiyin FC and Atletico de Kolkata in the ISL. The Blues led by Albert Roca finished top of the league standings and were up against second-placed FC Goa in the Andheri Stadium in Mumbai. Both the teams were high on scoring form and the final turned out to be extremely tactical. After 117 minutes of stalemate, it was Bengaluru FC’s Rahul Bheke who rose above everybody to slot home the winner by a header by making it 1-0.
ISL 2017-18 Winners: Chennaiyin FC
ISL 2017-18 witnessed the addition of two new teams with the recognition of the league by AFC. The play-off winners were now allowed to play in the AFC Cup play-offs. Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC were the new teams. Although Bengaluru FC showed consistency and hosted the final, it was John Greogory’s Chennaiyin FC who ran out 3-2 winners in a dramatic final in Bengaluru. A Mailson Alves brace in the final was too much for the Blues to overcome in front of their home fans.
ISL 2016 Winner: Atletico de Kolkata
The Red and Whits cruised to their second ISL title in three years after a managerial change. Atletico de Kolkata parted ways with their Head Coach Antonio Lopez Habas and brought in Jose Francisco Molina. Molina’s side showed consistency throughout the tournament and managed to reach the final. They were up against familiar finalists Kerala Blasters in Kerala. After a 1-1 draw, the game went into penalties. Atletico de Kolkata came on top after the spot-kicks and ran away 3-4 winners in front of 60,000 Kerala Blasters fans.
ISL 2015 Winner: Chennaiyin FC
After a shaky start, Marco Materazzi’s Chennaiyin FC scripted an unforeseen comeback after they won 4 games in a row to sneak into the play-offs. Chennaiyin’s red hot form in the business end of the tournament allowed them to overcome the tricky Atletico de Kolkata challenge in the semi-finals. The Marina Machans faced FC Goa in Goa and ran out 3-2 winners after trailing 1-2 ten minutes before the final whistle. Season golden boot winner Steven Mendoza’s 92nd minute winner allowed Chennaiyin FC to win their maiden title.
ISL 2014 Winner: Atletico de Kolkata
The inaugural season of the Indian Super League kicked-off in the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata with Atletico de Kolkata kicking off proceedings with a 3-0 win over Mumbai City FC. Antonio Lopez Habas’ side continued their momentum with gritty defensive and tactical displays and ended up as the winners of the inaugural season. They faced Kerala Blasters in the all elusive final in the DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai. The Red and Whites scored in the 92nd minute through a Mohammed Rafique header to take away the title.