A look at the football Limca records over the years
The Jaipur Literature Festival bustled with excitement on its first day as it saw the release of the 26th edition of the Limca Book of Records (LBR) by Coca-Cola India. Encompassing various achievements over the years and speaking of some of the biggest names in world sport, the LBR is one of the best tools to savour sporting memories in the form of records.
Speaking of sporting achievements, it is quite a well-known that football was an afterthought in India for a long time, as the national league failed to flourish the way cricket did. However, the Limca Records have made sure that every notable achievement in Indian football is well-documented and preserved, to be reminisced fondly by the future generations. As we travel down the memory lane, let us take a look at a few such interesting records:
Indian football’s biggest rivalry
We all know the history of the El Clasico like the back of our hands, but how many of us have really bothered to learn about one such rivalry in our very own Bengal? East Bengal and Mohun Bagan comprise one of the most hotly contested derbies in the world and feature on FIFA’s list of classic derbies. Just like any other rivalry, this one is built on the clubs representing a class of people born generations ago, and it has transcended into one of the most highly attended games in the world today.
East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have played a staggering 307 matches between them, and East Bengal lead the race by a comfortable 117 wins to Mohun Bagan’s 85 with the rest being draws. Their matches have often been the breeding grounds of talent, giving the players a chance to prove themselves on the biggest stage in the country.
The I-League’s highest goal-scorers
The I-League has been one of the major competitions in Indian football and has come good in the last few years as a significant talent pool. And if you look at the statistical performances over the years, you’ll find that the league has had some prolific goal scorers.
The Golden Boot winners have always been highly effective in front of goal with players such as Ranty Martins and Odafe Okolie winning three each.
India’s best goal scorer in the I-league has been Bhaichung Bhutia with 54 goals, while Sunil Chettri closely follows behind. It might only be a matter of time before Chettri overtakes the former Indian captain.
India’s most successful captain
Indian football had an able leader in Bhaichung Bhutia and he delivered for the national team on the right occasions. Upon retiring in 2011, he found a place in the annals of Indian football history by becoming the most successful captain the nation had ever seen. He won five tournaments across his reign as captain, overtaking Sailen Manna.
Bhutia has contributed greatly to Indian football and its development over the years. He has undertaken various programmes at the grassroots level in an attempt to improve the quality of the sport, so that we can eventually see India rise in the global footballing charts.
Fastest goal in Indian football
While the I-league has become a staple of Indian football nowadays, the Santosh Trophy had been a mainstay for a long time, since before the Second World War. The tournament attained the status of being one of the most important footballing competitions in India, and not surprisingly, the fastest recorded goal was scored in the Santosh Trophy back in 2000.
In the match between Karnataka and Bengal, midfielder Dipankar Roy scored a spectacular goal just 9.33 seconds into the game. The audience were stunned, for they had never seen something like that before.
These and many more football achievements find a mention in the LBR, and their documentation serves as a source of inspiration to young footballers all over the country.