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Detailed Analysis: Top 5 Best Football Clubs in India

As the Indian Super League’s winter break draws to an end, players are returning back to their parent clubs. With the international season of AFC Asian Cup ended in a big disappointment for the Indian football fans, eyes will now be fixated on the domestic football. But when we say ‘India’s domestic football’ the eternal debate over which is superior – I-League or ISL – arises. While one was established way back in 2007, the other was formed 7 years later in 2014. The next question that naturally follows is – which is the most followed football club on the Indian soil?

Well, here we compile a list of top 5 football clubs in India (based on success and fan following):

5
 Kerala Blasters

Kerala Blasters Football Club (KBFC) was established on 24 May 2014 in by Sachin Tendulkar in association with Prasad Potluri. Although the club has not necessarily tasted success, with ending up as the runner of the Indian Super League on two occasions, it finds a place on our list of top 5 football clubs in the country owing to its massive popularity.

The Kochi-based side witnessed a humongous average attendance of 55,000 in its first season at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. That is the highest mean attendance so far in the league’s history. KBFC also have a massive following on social media, with a massive 1.83 million number of people following the club in twitter.

Social Media Following:

Twitter: 1.83 million
Facebook: 11 million
Instagram: 822K

Also Read | Is Kerala Blasters the most popular ISL team? We find out

4
East Bengal FC

Credits TFG

It seldom happens that you talk about a club of Mohun Bagan and another name doesn’t come to your mind- East Bengal FC. Formed in 1920, EBFC got recognition from the Indian Football Association in 1922. They won their first trophy in 1920, a Hercules Cup. There was no looking back after that win. The club went on to bag prestigious trophies like NFL (3), Super Cup (3), IFA Shield (28), Durand Cup (16), and Federation Cup (8) among others. Its rise in the latter part of the 20th century saw it face an intense rivalry with Mohun Bagan. EBFC plays at the famed Salt Lake stadium, the biggest in India with an overall capacity of over 85,000.

Social Media Following:

Twitter: 238K
Facebook: 13 million
Instagram: 32.6K

3
 Amar Tomar Kolkata (ATK)

ATK Squad 2019 KreedOn
Credits BQW

The third and the youngest Kolkata-based club in the list is Amar Tomar Kolkata (ATK). Formed in 2014 as Atletico de Kolkata in association with Sourav Ganguly, Sanjiv Goenka, and the Spanish club Atletico de Madrid, ATK went on to become one of the most successful clubs in Indian Super League- both in popularity and on-field success. They were crowned as the Champions of the first season of ISL, a feat they followed two later in 2016 by winning another title. At a time when fellow Kolkata clubs failed to fill in the stadiums, ATK saw an average of 50,000 attendance in 2015, with the highest going just over 68,000.

Social Media Following:

Twitter: 463K
Facebook: 10 million
Instagram: 143 K

2
Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC is one of the few clubs in the country which has achieved big things in a relatively short amount of time.

BFC was established in 2013 when AIFF decided to permit corporate entry into I-League. Owned by JSW group, Bengaluru FC has gone on to win the 2013/14 edition of the I-League in its first attempt itself. It then won the two Federation Cup, a Super Cup and nearly defended their I-League title in 2014/15. What more? Bengaluru are at the top of the ISL points table currently and very well on their way to win the title.
In a city that is known for its badminton talent, BFC has noteworthily developed a dedicated fan base for itself in a very short amount of time. The club strives to develop grass root talent rather than spend money on expensive players. As a result of this, 6 of the starting XI for the Indian national side against Oman in the World Cup Qualifiers were Bengaluru FC players.

Social Media Following:
Twitter: 468K
Facebook: 3.3 lakhs
Instagram: 130K

1
Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan KreedOn
Credits Jersey Football Mag

Established in 1889, Mohun Bagan A.C. is one of the oldest football clubs in India and one of the first in the Asian continent. Based in Kolkata, the club was founded by the eminent lawyer Bhupendra Nath Bose. Mohun Bagan is not only one of the most revered clubs in India, but also one of the most successful.

It became the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield trophy when it defeated East Yorkshire Regiment in 1911. Their long list of titles includes an I-League, National Football League (3), Federation Cup (14), and other top-flight league titles (4). Including others, Mohun Bagan boasts of a record 290 trophies. As a result of the extraordinary achievements of this club, Rajiv Gandhi in 1989 declared it as the ‘National Club of India’. All these facts make Mohun Bagan arguably the biggest and the most successful club in the country. With talks about the club contemplating a switch to the ISL making rounds, it will be interesting how things turn out.

Social Media Following:

Twitter: 357K
Facebook: 5 million
Instagram: 47.8K

For more updates on football, stay tuned to KreedOn, the Voice of Indian Sports.

Monish Gadiya
Monish Gadiya is the editor of KreedOn. He is a thorough tech-enthusiast and believes that innovation is the answer to all the problems prevalent in the society. Monish graduated from University of Pune with a degree in civil engineering before pursuing a post-graduate diploma course in intellectual property rights. A die-hard football fan, he has represented his college at various football competitions.

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