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Top Football Club Of India

joydeepsanyal
SENIOR ANALYST
Editor's Pick
21.42K   //    11 Sep 2010, 20:54 IST

India overall is a cricket crazy country. But, if you go to the by lanes of the towns and the cities, you would find a huge number of children playing football. The lack of players taking up football as a profession is due to many reasons and not limited to talent alone. But yet this is a sport which has brought the entire globe and brings it closer together.

In India, the football crazy regions are sparse ranging from Bengal, Kerela , Goa, Manipur and Punjab. Yet, Indian Football fans can boast of some clubs, some rivalries and traditions which can match or even outwit some of the biggest clubs in the world. Here is a look at the  biggest and the most valued clubs in India.

Do vote for your favorite club we will arrange them in the same order.

1. EAST BENGAL [polldaddy rating="2707380"]

Kingfisher East Bengal

Kingfisher East Bengal

This Kolkata based club is undoubtedly one the oldest, biggest and the most decorated clubs of all time.  This club was renamed as Kingfisher East Bengal Club after United Breweries obtained a 50% stake. East Bengal has a record of winning Kolkata League for six years in a row (1970–1975). It is the first club in India to win back to back National Football League titles (2003 & 2004).The club has a record of winning 23 trophies from Indian capital New Delhi. (Durand Cup: 16 times and DCM Trophy:7 times).

They created history when they defeated BEC TERO SASANA  3-1 in the Asean  Cup in Jakarta in 2003 .

Famous players who have donned the jersey are Subhas Bhowmick , Bhaichung Bhutia , Sunil Chettri , Syed Naimuddin , Peter Thangaraj , Manoranjan Bhattacharya and a host of names who have not only brought glory to the club but also played a big part in the national football team.

The team has competed in the AFC Cup 10 times , a record . Generally the migrants of Bangladesh are the loyal fans , although East Bengal can boast of the most number of supporters in the nation .

2. MOHUN BAGAN [polldaddy rating="2707378"]

Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan, called the National  club of India, a title given by Indira Gandhi is a Kolkata based club and is one of the arch rivals of East Bengal.  An all discipline club , its football wing is highly popular. Led by their famous IFA Shield final win against East Yorkshire Regiment 2-1 in 1911, the club came to be symbolized as a symbol of our freedom struggle .

The club is also a member of the  FIFA elite task force for club football, a highly distinguished honour.  The club has a host of successes and trophies winning the federation cup a record 13 times, the Calcutta league 29 times and the IFA shield a record 22 times. It is also the first club to win the national football league 3 times.  Great players who have donned the maroon jersey are Sailen Manna, Goshto Pal, Chuni Goswami, Bhaichung Bhutia , Chima Okerie and Jose Ramirez Barreto.

3. SALGAOCAR SC [polldaddy rating="2707377"]

Salgaocar FC

Salgaocar FC

The pride of Goa, it is one of the oldest and the most prominent clubs in India. It was the first Goan side to win the National Football League way back in 1999. With a rich haul of local and national trophies which includes 3 Federation cups, 2 Super cups, 2 Durand cups apart from their only national triumph, they are certainly one of the best clubs of India.

Recent poor performances have led the side to the ignominy of relegation but they seem to be coming back strongly in recent times. Notable players include Bruno Coutinho who was once termed as the wizard of Indian football. Defeating East Bengal in 1998 to clinch the federation cup at Salt Lake stadium was one of the highlights of the club. Enjoys a loyal support base.

4.  JCT MILLS PHAGWARA [polldaddy rating="2707375"]

JCT Phagwara

JCT Phagwara

Sponsored by the Jagjit Cotton and Textile Mills, they are the pride of Punjab, a sports crazy state. They hold many firsts as the first team to win the IFA shield outside Kolkata and the team to win the inaugural National football league.

Baichung Bhutia started his brilliant career in the league winning side of 1996 along with one of the best imports in Indian Football , Stephen Aborewi . They have been one of the most successful clubs in the indian arena and have recently developed a brilliant academy to train young budding footballers

5. FC KOCHIN [polldaddy rating="2707373"]

FC Kochin

FC Kochin

One of the pioneer clubs of Kerela, which has single handedly uplifted the soccer status of the southern states, this club has had a rich history and legacy. The most successful club of Kerela, it has won the Durand cup in late 1990’s and boasts of many Kerala championships. Jo Paul Ancheri, a footballing legend was associated with this club for a long time. It also performed consistently well in the earlier national championships before trouble and bad decisions led to its downfall.

Mahindra United

Mahindra United

MAHINDRA UNITED [polldaddy rating="2707372"]

Mahindra united was one of the most important and successful clubs in India with the club recently winding up its club operations to concentrate on the football academy. Mahindra United boasts of producing several top notch players who are presently making the Indian line up.  They won the NFL in 2005/06 and are the only club in the history of Indian football  to complete the league and Fed Cup double.

Their performance in the AFC championships has also been an enviable one reaching the quarter finals in 2007.

Dempo SC

Dempo SC

DEMPO SC [polldaddy rating="2707355"]

The most successful club on the national front, Dempo have had a stellar decade from  2000-2010 winning the national football league 4 times. They have also won each and every trophy of national importance at least once. The club is also credited with giving a large number of good players to the national team like Clifford Miranda , Mahesh Gawli , Climax Lawrence and others . T

heir performance in the international stage has been equally remarkable reaching the  AFC Cup semi finals and subsequently playing the champions league qualifiers in 2009 . Based at the heart of Panaji , it is currently the defending champions of I league .

CHURCHILL BROTHERS [polldaddy rating="2707353"]

Churchill Brothers

Churchill Brothers

Also known as the family club , it is run by a group of family members. Another famous club to have originated from the football crazy state of Goa, it has had a fair share of its successes in the national and international front. Its maiden national league triumph came in 2008-09 as the second winners of the revamped I League.

It also participated in the AFC Cup where they knocked out the Yemeni champions to progress further in the cup , a major achievement . They have also won the Durand cup twice and the IFA Shield once.

Famous players to have played for the club include I M vijayan , Noel Wilson and goalkeeper Virender Singh . Odafa Onyoke Okolie  who plays for the club has been one of the top marksman of Indian Football in recent years.

joydeepsanyal
SENIOR ANALYST
Football is my life . Sports is my passion . Developing India into a top sporting nation is my ultimate aim .
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