Atletico de Kolkata became the First Champions of the Indian Super League(ISL) as they edged past Kerala Blasters, 1-0 in the finals at the DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai on Saturday, 20th December 2014.
“This is the biggest achievement! The ISL is a huge stage for Indian football, so this win feels really good! I would just like to thank Allah that my team could win because of a goal from me”, exulted the 22 year old Mohammad Rafique whose last gasp injury time header was enough to clinch the deal for Kolkata and marked the climax of a hotly contested and pacy final which was mainly dominated by Kerala Blasters and was being adjudged as a clash between cricketing legends Sachin Tendulkar: co-owner of Kerala Blasters and Sourav Ganguly: co-owner of Atletico de Kolkata.
Atletico de Kolkata bagged the tournament prize money of Rs 8 crore, while the runners-up pocketed Rs 4 crore whereas League toppers Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa, the two semi-finalists, received a cash prize of Rs 1.5 crore each.
The two-month extravaganza which kicked off on 12th October 2014 was sponsored by India’s Reliance Industries, Star India, Sports Management group IMG and was supported by All India Football Federation(AIFF).
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It saw eight teams namely Atletico de Kolkata, Chennaiyin FC, Delhi Dynamos FC, FC Goa, Kerala Blasters FC, Mumbai City FC, FC Pune City and Northeast United FC fiercely contest for the title with a mission to engender an entertaining and high quality football league that engaged hundreds of millions of fans.The matches were contested in stadiums throughout India including the Salt Lake, Jawaharlal Nehru, DY Patil and Fatorda Stadium.
Each team participating in ISL constituted of 1 foreign marquee player, 7 foreign players, 14 domestic players & 4 local players and saw famous players like Alessandro Del Piero, Nicolas Anelka, Robert Pires, Luis Garcia, Fredrik Ljungberg participating in the league.
Each team played 14 matches each with Chennaiyin FC finishing the league stage with the maximum number (23) of points.
Many celebrities like Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni also took a step forward in promoting Football in an otherwise cricket-crazy country by buying their very own teams.The ISL was truly appreciated by a lot of Indians.
” ISL will develop further as an opportunity for our youngsters. I am impressed with the way our boys have taken up the challenge in the first year itself and matched their international counterparts. India has no dearth of talent, we need to show them the right way, nurture and provide opportunities to our youth.”, said an ecstatic Nita Ambani who promised that the league will become even better and bigger in the coming years.
- Golden Boot- Elano
- Hero Of The League- Iain Hume
- Emerging Player Of The League-Sandesh Jhingan
- Golden Glove-Jan Seda
- Goal Of The League-Kostas Katsouranis
- Fittest Player Of The League-Jan Stohanzl
- Exciting Player Of The League-Luis Garcia
- Fair Play Award-Delhi Dynamos
- Happy Fans Award-Kerala Blasters
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