Bengaluru FC

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Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC logo.svg
Full nameBengaluru Football Club
Nickname(s)The Blues
Short nameBFC
Founded20 July 2013;7 years ago (2013-07-20) [1]
Ground Sree Kanteerava Stadium
Bengaluru
Capacity25,810 [2]
Owner JSW Group
Chairman Sajjan Jindal
Head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli
League Indian Super League
2020–21 Indian Super League, 7th of 11
Playoffs: DNQ
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season
Departments of Bengaluru FC
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg
Football (Men's) Football (Reserves Men's) Football (Youth Men's) [3]

Bengaluru Football Club ( [ˈbeŋɡəɭuːɾu] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is an Indian professional football club based in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The club competes in the Indian Super League, the top flight of Indian football. [4] The club was established on 20 July 2013 and began its first competitive season in the I-League on 22 September the same year. Since its inception, the club has won two I-League titles including one in its debut season, two Federation Cup titles, one Indian Super League title, and a Super Cup championship.

Contents

The club became the champion of the 2018–19 Indian Super League season, defeating FC Goa in the final, which was held on 17 March 2019. [5] [6]

The club is owned and operated by the Mumbai-based company JSW Group and its managing director Sajjan Jindal. [1] Bengaluru has played its home matches at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium since the beginning of the 2014–15 season. Despite only playing four seasons in the I-League, the club was considered one of the model clubs of Indian football. [7] Bengaluru drew praise for bringing a new sense of professionalism to Indian football, including the use of on field equipment meant to help player fitness. [8] Bengaluru is also known for is fan base, which includes the supporters' group West Block Blues and has gained a reputation as one of the most vocal and passionate fan bases in India. [7]

On 22 September 2013, Bengaluru FC played its inaugural match, which ended in a 1–1 draw against Mohun Bagan in the league. The club went on to win the I-League in its debut season and again two seasons later in 2015–16. As well as two league titles, Bengaluru also won two Federation Cups in 2015 and 2017. Between 2015 and 2018, the club represented India in Asian club competition, competing in the AFC Cup for four consecutive years. During the 2016 AFC Cup, Bengaluru reached the final and lost 1–0 to Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya of Iraq. [9] On 28 September 2019, it was announced that the club had entered into a partnership with the Scottish Premier League club Rangers. [10]

History

Inception

In January 2013, it was reported Mumbai Tigers (then known as Dodsal FC) had failed to register for the upcoming I-League 2nd Division. [11] It was also rumoured the club could instead enter the I-League, India's top football league, directly through cash payment to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and a promise to build a new football stadium. [11] On 12 January, it was announced the AIFF had called for an executive meeting to decide whether to allow teams to enter directly the I-League for the 2013–14 season. [12] At around the same time, uncertainty whether institutional clubs Air India, ONGC and then-suspended Mohun Bagan would be allowed to play in the league that season arose. [12]

During the AIFF executive meeting on 15 January, it was officially announced the federation, in an effort to make the I-League more pan-Indian, would accept bids for two new, direct-entry clubs for the 2013–14 season from corporate groups. [13] Corporate groups could bid to create teams outside Kolkata and Goa, and would have to create new infrastructure in their cities. [13] The winning bids would be announced in March 2013 and the new clubs would be replacements for Air India and ONGC. [13]

On 8 March 2013, it was reported JSW Group, which had previously considered forming a football club in Bangalore, was interested in bidding for a spot in the I-League. [14] It was also reported AR Khaleel, the President of the Karnataka State Football Association and a senior official of the AIFF, had suggested Bangalore could be a host venue for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup and that a corporate team in the city could help build new infrastructure. [14] On 15 May that year, it was announced the AIFF had received three bids for two direct-entry spots. [15] The bids came from JSW Group, Dodsal Group, and a consortium from Kerala. [15]

On 28 May 2013, it was officially announced JSW Group had won the rights to form a direct-entry team for the 2013–14 I-League season in Bangalore, which would be done through the sports branch, JSW Sports. [16] It was also announced JSW Group would set up a youth academy in Bangalore and would construct new infrastructure. [16] On 20 July, JSW Group officially launched the club as "Bengaluru Football Club" at launch event at the Bangalore Football Stadium, which was announced as the club's home stadium for the upcoming season. [1] Along with the club name and stadium, the squad, club crest, colours and home kit for the season were revealed. [1]

Ashley Westwood era (2013–2016)

Immediately after winning the rights to form a direct-entry side, JSW Group began assembling a team. The club's first signing was midfielder Thoi Singh from Mumbai Tigers. [17] On 2 July 2013, it was announced former Blackburn Rovers assistant manager Ashley Westwood would become the club's first head coach. [18] On 16 July, JSW Group signed the club's first two foreign players, defenders John Johnson and Curtis Osano. [19] Three days later, it was announced the club had signed the India national team captain Sunil Chhetri from Sporting Portugal B. [20]

On 22 September that year, the club played their first official match in the I-League against Mohun Bagan at Bangalore Football Stadium. After a scoreless first-half, Bengaluru scored their first official goal in the 49th minute through Sean Rooney. [21] In injury time, Mohun Bagan equalized through Chinadorai Sabeeth to end the match 1–1. [21] Their next match brought Begaluru's first win, defeating Rangdajied United 3–0 at the Bangalore Football Stadium. [22]

The club played their first away game on 26 October 2013 against East Bengal at the Kalyani Stadium. In their first losing away game, Bengaluru lost 0–2 to the Kolkata-based side. [23] Exactly a month later, the club won their first away match against Salgaocar at the Duler Stadium 2–1. [24]

On 15 January 2014, Bengaluru played the first game in their first domestic cup competition, the Federation Cup, [25] against Sporting Goa at the Manjeri Stadium. Bengaluru won 5–3 but went on to draw one match and lose another, and were knocked out in the group stage of the tournament. [26]

On 21 April 2014, Bengaluru defeated Dempo 4–2 at the Fatorda Stadium to claim their first I-League title in their debut season. [27] During the 2014–15 season, Bengaluru again participated in the Federation Cup, winning their first trophy on 11 January 2015 after defeating Dempo 2–1 in the final. Despite the cup victory and entering the season as defending league champions, Bengaluru lost the I-League title on the last day of the season, when they drew 1–1 against Mohun Bagan, who gained the title. Despite losing the title, Bengaluru ended the season with a 13-match unbeaten run. Bengaluru also participated in the Asian club competition for the first time but failed to qualify for the AFC Champions League; the team also reached Round 16 for the AFC Cup.

The next season, Bengaluru won their second I-League title, defeating Salgaocar 2–0 at home on 17 April 2016. The club also advanced further into the AFC Cup, reaching the quarter-finals after defeating Kitchee 3–2 in Round 16. Despite the club's achievement, Ashley Westwood left the club at the end of the season.

Albert Roca era and transition to Indian Super League (2016–2018)

Albert Roca guided Bengaluru in their early seasons of the Indian Super League Albert-Roca-FC-Barcelona-00.jpg
Albert Roca guided Bengaluru in their early seasons of the Indian Super League

Bengaluru FC appointed former FC Barcelona assistant coach Albert Roca as the head coach for two seasons. [28] In his first game in charge of the club, Bengaluru FC won 1–0 against Tampines Rovers in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the AFC Cup 2016, and became the third Indian team to qualify for the tournament's semi-finals. They reached the final on 19 October 2016, the first Indian team to do so, by defeating defending champions Johor Darul Ta'zim F.C. 3–1 at home in the second leg of the semi-finals. On 5 November, Bengaluru played against the Iraqi club Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya in the final at the Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium in Qatar, losing the game 0–1. [29] Bengaluru's first 2016–17 I-League season under Roca was not as successful; the club finished the season in fourth position, the lowest since 2013, after a winless run of seven games in January and February 2017. The club won their second Federation Cup title under Albert Roca in 2017, defeating Mohun Bagan 2–0 in the final. The club also reached the Inter-zonal final in the 2017 AFC Cup.

Carles Cuadrat era (2018–2021)

After two seasons as an assistant coach at Bengaluru FC, Carles Cuadrat took over as the head coach in July 2018 [30] for the first time in his career. In his debut season, Bengaluru won the fifth edition of the ISL for the first time. The season brought multiple records, including an 11-game undefeated run in the league and a six-game winning run. They became the first team to finish on top of the regular season twice in succession and the first team to win the title after finishing top in the league phase. In 2019–20, Bengaluru reached the ISL play-offs after finishing third in the league phase, breaking the run in which the defending champions apart from ATK in 2015 failed to reach the top four. Under Cuadrat, Bengaluru set new records in 2019–20, becoming the first team to keep 11 clean sheets. They also scored almost 62% of their goals (15 goals from 24) from them and went on a 17-match unbeaten run at home. Towards the end of the 2019–20 season, Bengaluru beat Paro FC 9–1 at the Kanteerava in the AFC Cup qualifiers; their biggest-ever win. [31] In January 2021, Bengaluru FC parted ways with Carles Cuadret on mutual consent. [32] The club also had one of their poorest run as they had 8 winless games in a row. [33]

Marco Pezzaiuoli era (2021–)

On 12 February 2021, the club announced Marco Pezzaiuoli as their new head coach on a three-year performance-based contract. [34]

Crest and colour

The Bengalore Palace Bangalore Palace Monument.jpg
The Bengalore Palace
Gandaberunda bird in the Rameshwara temple at keladi Relief of Gandaberunda bird (two headed) in the Rameshwara temple at Keladi.jpg
Gandaberunda bird in the Rameshwara temple at keladi

Bengaluru FC' home livery was unveiled during the 21 July JSW launch; the crest features the Bangalore Palace coloured white to symbolize the victory of the Wodeyars, who won the palace back. [35] In the middle of the crest, a blue Gandaberunda – a mythical two-headed bird, symbolizes the pride, resilience, and bravery of the people of Bengaluru. [35] The Gandaberunda is taken from the coat of arms of the state of Karnataka. [35] On 24 January 2015, Bengaluru revealed Eddie The Eagle as its official mascot. [36]

The club colour is blue; it is often known by the nickname "The Blues". [37]

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

PeriodKit manufacturerShirt sponsorBack sponsorChest sponsorSleeve sponsor
2013—2014None JSW None
2014—2017 Puma
2017—2018 Kingfisher SF Sonic Epson
2018—2019 Kia [38] Nissin
2019—2020 DafaNews
2020–present JSW [39] DafaNews

In July 2014, Bengaluru signed a deal with Puma, which became the club's kit sponsor from the 2014–15 season. [40] The club's parent company JSW Group was the team's principal sponsor from inception until 2018, when the club signed a four-year deal with South Korean car company Kia Motors [41] as the principal sponsor. The contract was terminated by the start of the 2020–21 season and JSW Group returned as the principal sponsor. [42]

Kit evolution

Kit left arm redborder.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body redhorizontal.png
Kit body.svg
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2013–2014
Kit left arm whiteborder.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body bengaluru1415h.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm whiteborder.png
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Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
2014–2015
Kit left arm redborder.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body redcollar.png
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Kit right arm redborder.png
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Kit shorts redsides.png
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2015–2016
Kit left arm redshoulders.png
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Kit body redshoulders.png
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Kit right arm redshoulders.png
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2016–2017
Kit left arm blueshoulders.png
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Kit body bengalurufc home 2017.png
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Kit right arm blueshoulders.png
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2017–2018
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body bengalurufc home 2018 19.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts red stripes.png
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2018–2019
Kit left arm blueborder.png
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Kit body bengalurufc home 2019 20.png
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2019–2020
Kit left arm red hoop.png
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2020–

Stadium

Sree Kanteerava Outdoor Stadium
Sree Kanteerava Stadium.jpg
An aerial view of Kanteerava Stadium, the home of Bengaluru FC

In their first season, Bengaluru FC played home games at Bangalore Football Stadium in the city centre. The West stand was the largest and most capacious stand, and housed the VIP boxes during I-League and other major matches. During the club's launch, it was announced the team would play at Bangalore Football Stadium for the 2013–14 I-League season. [1] The stadium had a capacity of 15,000 and its pitch was covered with astroturf. [43]

From the 2014–15 season, the club started playing home games at the 24,000 capacity Sree Kanteerava Stadium. [44] There are eight entrances to the stadium, and nine stands are used for Bengaluru FC matches. West Block A stand is the largest stand in the stadium and is home to the West Block Blues supporters' club. Due to criticisms of the artificial pitch at Bangalore Football Stadium, the new stadium's pitch is covered with natural grass. All stands except the North Stand have permanent seating. Some fans refer to the Sree Kanteerva Stadium as 'The Fortress". [45]

Supporters

The West Block Blues supporting BFC during 2016-17 I-League Bengaluru FC vs East Bengal at Kanteerava Stadium on 10 April 2016.jpg
The West Block Blues supporting BFC during 2016-17 I-League

Bengaluru FC is reputed to have one of the most vocal fanbases in India. The fans are known as the West Block Blues, [46] which is named after West Block A in the Bangalore Football Stadium. [47] [48]

West Block Blues unveiling banner Bengaluru FC vs Shillong Lajong, 7 January 2017.jpg
West Block Blues unveiling banner

The players and the coach have often acknowledged the fans' support in their success, and called them "The 12th Man". [49] [50] [51] Apart from supporting Bengaluru FC, the fan club has frequently supported the Indian national football team, and unfurled a 5,000 sq ft (460 m2) banner at the India vs Guam game. [52]

Rivalries

In the first years of the club, Bengaluru FC played in the I-league before joining the ISL. The club played important games against Mohun Bagan, sparking a rivalry between the clubs. Bengaluru FC shares this rivalry with the Kolkata-based club ATK Mohun Bagan [53] in ISL.

South Indian Derby

Bengaluru FC has also developed a rivalry with South Indian club Kerala Blasters. [54] The rivalry stems from the competition between the clubs' fan bases; the Blasters' Manjappada and Bengaluru's West Block Blues. [55]

Fan misconduct

In 2018, Bengaluru FC was given a fine of 15 lakhs for the repeated misconduct of fans during home matches against FC Pune City and Kerala Blasters, and in the final against Chennaiyin FC. West Block Blues used abusive chanting against opposite team and players. It was the first time an ISL club had been penalized for crowd trouble. [56]

Players

First-team squad

As of 10 March 2021 [57]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
1 GK Flag of India.svg  IND Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
2 DF Flag of India.svg  IND Rahul Bheke
4 DF Flag of India.svg  IND Pratik Chaudhari
5 DF Flag of Spain.svg  ESP Juanan
6 MF Flag of Australia (converted).svg  AUS Erik Paartalu
10 DF Flag of India.svg  IND Harmanjot Khabra
11 FW Flag of India.svg  IND Sunil Chhetri (Captain)
13 MF Flag of India.svg  IND Ajay Chhetri
14 MF Flag of Spain.svg  ESP Dimas Delgado
15 DF Flag of India.svg  IND Wungngayam Muirang
17 FW Flag of India.svg  IND Edmund Lalrindika
18 FW Flag of India.svg  IND Thongkhosiem Haokip
19 DF Flag of India.svg  IND Ajith kumar
21 FW Flag of India.svg  IND Udanta Singh
22 MF Flag of India.svg  IND Ashique Kuruniyan
No.Pos.NationPlayer
23 FW Flag of Brazil.svg  BRA Cleiton Silva
24 DF Flag of India.svg  IND Joe Zoherliana
25 DF Flag of India.svg  IND Namgyal Bhutia
27 MF Flag of India.svg  IND Suresh Singh Wangjam
28 GK Flag of India.svg  IND Lalthuammawia Ralte
29 DF Flag of India.svg  IND Parag Shrivas
30 GK Flag of India.svg  IND Lara Sharma
31 MF Flag of India.svg  IND Leon Augustine
32 MF Flag of India.svg  IND Naorem Roshan Singh
33 MF Flag of India.svg  IND Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha
34 GK Flag of India.svg  IND Dipesh Chauhan
35 DF Flag of India.svg  IND Biswa Darjee
36 MF Flag of India.svg  IND Huidrom Thoi Singh
37 MF Flag of India.svg  IND Amay Morajkar
DF Flag of Gabon.svg  GAB Yrondu Musavu-King

Reserves and academy

Current technical staff

[ citation needed ]

PositionName
Head Coach Flag of Germany.svg Marco Pezzaiuoli
Assistant Coach Flag of Spain.svg Javier Pinillos [58]
Assistant Coach/
Head Coach (reserve team)
Flag of India.svg Naushad Moosa [59]
Goalkeeping Coach Flag of Spain.svg Julen Esnaola [58]
Physiotherapist Flag of Spain.svg Senen Alvarez
Team Manager Flag of India.svg Rosewall Da Cunha
Video Analyst Flag of India.svg Alwin Lawrence
Masseur Flag of India.svg Manu Prasad
Kit Boy Flag of India.svg Gireesh PM

Team records

Overview

SeasonLeagueTeamsPosition Federation Cup
Super Cup
AFC competition(s)
2013–14 I-League 131Group stage
2014–15 I-League 112Winner AFC Champions League Preliminary Round 1
AFC Cup Round of 16
2015–16 I-League 91Quarter-final AFC Cup Runners-up
2016–17 I-League 104Winner AFC Champions League Preliminary Round 2
AFC Cup Interzonal Finalist
2017–18 ISL 10League – 1st
Playoffs – Runner-up
Winner AFC Cup Interzonal Semi-finalist
2018–19 ISL 10League – 1st
Playoffs – Winner
Quarter-final
2019–20 ISL 10League – 3rd
Playoffs – Semifinals
AFC Cup Play-off Stage
2020–21 ISL 117 AFC Cup TBD

Head Coaches' record

As of 14 April 2021
NameNationalityFromToPWDLGFGAWin%
Ashley Westwood Flag of England.svg  England 2 July 201331 May 201689491723144103055.06
Albert Roca Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 6 July 201631 May 20187343141613064058.90
Carles Cuadrat Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 1 July 20186 January 2021492510147551051.02

Naushad Moosa (interim)

Flag of India.svg  India 6 January 202125 February 2021112451415018.18

Marco Pezzaiuoli

Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 12 February 2021110050100.00

Honours

Continental

Silver medal with cup.svg Runners-up (1): 2016 [60]

Domestic

Leagues

Gold medal with cup.svgWinners (1): 2018–19
Silver medal with cup.svg Runners-up (1): 2017–18
Gold medal with cup.svgWinners (2): 2013–14, [61] 2015–16 [62]
Silver medal with cup.svg Runners-up (1): 2014–15

Cups

Bengaluru FC players celebrating the Federation Cup win in 2017 Bengaluru FC crowned 2016-17 Indian Federation Cup champions.jpg
Bengaluru FC players celebrating the Federation Cup win in 2017
Gold medal with cup.svgWinners (2): 2014–15, [63] 2016–17 [64]
Gold medal with cup.svgWinners (1): 2018 [65]

Performance in AFC competitions

See also

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