Bengaluru FC: History and Rise of the club
Bengaluru FC is an Indian professional football club based in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore). The club was founded in July 2013 and play their home games at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium which has a capacity of 25,810. The club’s owners are the JSW Group.
Bengaluru FC’s first match of their history was against the oldest football club in India, Mohun Bagan. The match result was 1-1. In their debut season, Bengaluru FC went on to win the I-League title. The club won the league again two seasons later in 2015-16. In addition to winning two league titles, the club won two Federation Cups. Bengaluru FC became the first Indian football club to reach a final of a continental club competition when they reached the final of the AFC Cup (Asian version of UEFA Europa League) in 2016 where they played Iraqi club Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. Bengaluru FC joined the Indian Super League (ISL) from the 2017-18 season. Since joining the ISL, they have made the play-offs every season. They even won the ISL title in 2018-19.
Bengaluru FC has become a role model for other Indian professional clubs as they are one of the most well-run clubs in Indian Football. Good coaching, proper diet and players’ well being are some of the biggest reasons for the club’s success. The club also has sponsorships from reputed brands like Puma, Imperial Blue and Jockey just to name a few. Since September 2019, Bengaluru FC has formed a partnership with Scottish giants Rangers FC which will provide many commercial and football opportunities for both clubs. The club’s youth academy has U7, U9, U13, U15 and U18 levels to churn out future Indian internationals and even superstars. Bengaluru FC is one of the most supported clubs in the country. The club has one of the most vociferous fanbases in India. This group of fans are known as the West Block Blues. This group is named after West Block A, a parking position in the Kanteerava Stadium. The coaches and the players have frequently shown appreciation for the fans’ support in the success of the club. The fans have been called ‘The 12th Man’ by the players and the coaches. Another reason that Bengaluru FC is so popular is that Sunil Chhetri has been playing for the club since its inception, although he has gone out on loan a few times. After all, Sunil is the 2nd highest active international goalscorer ahead of the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar. Only Cristiano Ronaldo is ahead of him.
Clearly from the way Bengaluru FC are operating, we observe that sustainability is one of their main goals and objectives. As a result, in my opinion, the club have a bright future to look forward to. Who knows, by the end of the decade they may be the face of Indian Club football on the continental and international stage.