FC Pune City is an Indian professional football team that plays in the Indian Super League (ISL). The team is based in the city of Pune, Maharashtra. They play their home matches in Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex which has a maximum seating capacity of 11,900.
The team is led by Brazilian striker Marcelo Leite Pereira. Marcelo has played for clubs like Atletico Madrid B and Getafe B. He was also the part of Delhi Dynamos before joining FC Pune City in 2017. He was the top scorer and golden boot winner of 2016 ISL season. The club recently signed Miguel Angel Portugal as the head coach for the 2018-2019 season. The 62 year old was formerly the manager of Delhi Dynamos FC in the 2017-18 season.
In 2016, the club became the only Indian professional football club to have teams which participated at all levels of professional football viz. Senior Team, U-18 Team, U-16 Team, U-14 Team and the Women’s Team.
The club is also known by its nickname, “The Stallions”. Its motto is ‘Live to Win’ - live to win titles and live to win hearts.
The club was formed in 2014 and is owned by Rajesh Wadhawan Group, its promoters Mr Kapil Wadhawan, Mr Dheeraj Wadhawan and actors Arjun Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan.
The philosophy behind club’s formation was to promote and develop the game of football in the city of Pune as well as the whole of Maharashtra.
Trajectory in ISL
The club fared poorly for the first three seasons, finishing sixth in 2014, 2016 and seventh in 2015. In the 2017-2018 season, the team finally managed to qualify for the semi-finals where they lost to Bengaluru FC.
In all the first three seasons, the main reason behind the club’s poor performance was their inability to score goals. In the first three seasons, the club managed to score only 42 but conceded a whopping 56 goals. But in the fourth season, the team improved a lot in terms of goal scoring, which eventually led to a top-four finish.
Club’s semi- final finish in the 2017-2018 season was their best performance so far in ISL. The team would be looking forward to better this record by taking inspiration from their brilliant performance of the last season.
The primary low point for the team was their inability to score goals to which they seem to have
found a solution in Emiliano Alfaro. But the club need other strikers to also rise to the occasion and support Alfaro. The team’s defence still needs a lot of work as they have conceded a quite large number of goals consistently for all the four seasons so far.
Major Players for the ISL 2018-19
The responsibility of spearheading the attack will rest on the shoulders of Alfaro, Iain Hume and Marcelinho. The club will be hoping that Hume can replicate his performance of 2015 and 2016 season with Atletico de Kolkata.
Marko Stankovic, Adil Khan and Rohit Kumar would be responsible to do some wonders in the midfield and create more and more chances for the forwards.
The duty of holding a strong line defence will fall upon centre backs Gurtej Singh and Martin Diaz along with Chhuantea Fanai in left back position and Keenan Almeida as right back.