Here is all you need to know about Mumbai City FC…
Mumbai is often titled as the ‘City of Dreams’. And that’s for a reason. After all, the never-sleeping metropolis rarely unwelcomes anyone. However, that wasn’t true in the case of football, which rarely received as much love, which wasn’t surprising given Mumbai’s rich tradition of cricket and it’s craze for the sport. But that may change with the rise of Mumbai City FC.
The economic capital of India was chosen as one of the eight franchises to play in the inaugural season of Indian Super League. The franchise for Mumbai was jointly won by Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and chartered accountant Bimal Parekh. Today we look at the journey of the Islanders, Mumbai City FC…
Mumbai is much more than the name of the city. It represents more than 1.84 crore people! The franchise took utmost care in encapsulating whatever Mumbai means into the logo.
The fort symbolises the resilience, so does the spirit of the city and Mumbaikars. The seven stars represent the seven islands conglomerated into one as Mumbai. The train doesn’t need any description if anyone has visited Mumbai. It is an utmost sacred tribute to the lifeline of Mumbai, the local trains.
Mumbai City FC Players 2019
Home Ground of Mumbai City FC
The team plays it’s home matches at the Mumbai Football Arena. The arena is housed within the Andheri Sports Complex. Established in 1988, Andheri Sports complex is a multi-purpose sports facility which has been time and again used for different national tournaments. Only in 2016, it was redeveloped to include a football stadium in accordance with FIFA guidelines. The stadium has a capacity of 8000.
Journey through the seasons: Mumbai City FC
The team roped in Peter Reid as the head coach. Reid, a former English footballer, had the experience of managing top clubs like Manchester City and Sunderland.
“Freddie” Ljungberg was the first marquee player for the team. He was a former Swedish footballer and currently is in the coaching department of Arsenal.
In their second game against FC Pune City, the team scored a 5-0 victory. This victory contained a unique record. Andre Moritz became the first hat trick scorer in ISL.
The season was largely plagued with dismal performances from the Mumbai City FC. The team won only 4 games and draw 4 games in their 14 fixtures. It ended up 7th on the points table only above NorthEast United FC.
Nicolas Anelka, a Frenchman, who played for the team in the previous season, was appointed as the manager! Anelka has made appearances for top teams like PSG, Arsenal, Real Madrid, etc.
The team also roped in India’s all-time top scorer, Sunil Chettri. If there was any improvement in the team’s performance, it was only the 6th position in the points table, one better than the previous season. The team won only 4 games and lost 6 in their 14 fixtures.
Following the team’s dismal performance in the ISL 2015 season, Anelka made an exit as the coach. Alexandre Guimaraes was appointed as the coach. Guimaraes, a retired Costa Rican footballer, has played for the Costa Rican national team. He has also managed Costa Rica’s national team.
The club signed Diego Floran, an Uruguayan former footballer who was awarded the Golden Ball in the FIFA 2010 World Cup.
Floran brought a total revolution in the team’s approach on the field. For the first time, the team went to the top of the points table and qualified for the final four.
In the semi-final, the team met the inaugural season champions ATK. Mumbai City FC went down to ATK on a 2-3 aggregate at the end of the second leg of the semi-final.
The season was a big positive for the team. For the first time in their history, Mumbai City FC managed to qualify for the semi-finals.
Guimaraes continued to be the manager of the team for what he did in the previous season. The fans pinned their hopes on him to take Mumbai City FC to their maiden title. But what happened in the season led to Guimaraes’ exit as the coach. The team had a horrendous run with only 7 wins and 9 losses in 18 games. Yet again they failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
The Islanders (nickname of Mumbai City FC) announced Jorge Costa, former Portuguese international, as their head coach. Following a 5-0 loss to FC Goa in the fourth game, coach Costa made structural and tactical changes to the team which resulted in a 9-win streak for the Islanders. The team stood 3rd in the points table and hence qualified for the semi-finals.
In their semi-final against FC Goa, the team yet again failed to make it to the grand finals. FC Goa beat Mumbai city FC on a 5-2 aggregate.
This is the Islanders’ sixth straight appearance at the Hero ISL. The team will commence its journey in the tournament on 24th October 2019.
Jorge Costa continues to be the head coach of the team for the second consecutive season. Costa is a former Portuguese player and has been a part of the Portugal squad in major tournaments like UEFA Euro 2000 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Head Coach Jorge Costa is not satisfied with last season's semi-final finish and wants @MumbaiCityFC to go at least one better in the 2019-20 #HeroISL season! #MCFCPreview #TrueLove #LetsFootball #8DaysToGo pic.twitter.com/eDTaP94nQ8
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) October 12, 2019
Paulo Machado has been entrusted the responsibility of leading the side to glory this season. Machado, who has represented the Portuguese national team in the past, joined the islanders in the previous season. He played a crucial role in the team’s run to the semi-finals in the previous season.
“This season, we expect to be in the top four again. We will have a better team, and we will see (the performance) when we start (the campaign)”
– Machado in his statement to reporters
— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) October 14, 2019
Stats: Mumbai City FC
Final Result: 7th position in points table
Final Result: 6th position in points table
Final Result: Semi-finalists, 1st position in points table
Most goals for the team: Diego Forlan (5)
Final Result: 7th position in points table
Most assists for the team: Everton Santos (5)
Final Result: Semi-finalists, 3rd position in points table
Most goals for the team: Modou Sougou (12)
Most assists for the team: Arnold Issoko (8)- it was most in for any player in that season.
Owners of Mumbai City FC
The franchise is co-owned by Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh. While the former is a Bollywood star, the later is a chartered accountant.
“The vision has always been to make Mumbai City FC the most professional club in Asia. I believe that we are well on our way. Be it the players or the technical staff, everyone associated with the club across all three seasons have been very happy and I hope that continues. In five years from now, I hope the club is well on its way to becoming a torch-bearer for Indian football.”
– Ranbir Kapoor in an exclusive chat with Goal (Goal.com)
Sponsors: Mumbai City FC
Mumbai City are yet to finalize sponsorships for the ongoing ISL 2019/20 season.