One of the most passionate football clubs in the country, Bengaluru FC redefined the way the game was played in the country with their new approach.
With one championship already under their belt, the club will be looking to add to that as they take the field come November.
Let’s take a look at Bengaluru FC’s squad for 2021-2022
Bengaluru FC Goalkeepers
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
One of the finest shot-stoppers to have come out of the country, Sandhu is a pillar not only for Indian football but his ISL team too.
Sandhu started his career young, at the age of eight, joining the St. Stephen’s Academy before joining Kolkata heavy-weights East Bengal as a youth player. He made his debut with East Bengal in 2010 and had a successful stint with the team before moving to Norwegian club Stabæk in 2014. The keeper reached further heights during his three-year stint with Stabæk as he became the very first player from India to play in a UEFA Europa League match in 2016.
After three seasons with Stabæk, Sandhu returned to India, moving to Bengaluru FC. Since his return, he has been a standout performer for the Bangalore side and has helped them scale new heights thanks to his reliability at the back.
A Tata Football Academy graduate, 22-year-old Lara Sharma has already made his national U18 debut and has featured in the I-League.
A promising stint with Indian Arrows in the I-League saw Sharma get roped in by ATK, where he helped the Kolkata team win the Calcutta Football League before being signed up by the Bangalore franchise in 2020.
An understudy to Sandhu, Sharma is one for the future, for both club and country.
The 21-year-old from Kerala showed promise during his time with the SAI team in Thiruvananthapuram before being signed up by Bengaluru FC in 2019.
Following promising performances with the Bengaluru B team, Padattil was promoted to the senior team at the end of the 2020/21 season.
Bengaluru FC Defenders
A veteran Brazilian defender, Alan Costa joined the Bengaluru side on a two-year long in July 2021.
Costa, who has previously played in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, the first division league in Brazil, with Sport Club Internacional, has more than a decade’s worth of experience. With Costa having represented seven teams in his career, Bengaluru will be hoping that the Brazilian uses all of his knowledge and experience to build a solid wall at the back.
Mumbai-born Chaudhuri had a unique start to his career, playing for Bank of India and Union Bank of India during his junior days whilst in school and working a night-shift job. His talent, though, was quickly spotted by Air India, who signed him up in 2011.
After two years with Air India, Chaudhari moved to Rangdajied United, where his impressive performances led to Mohun Bagan signing him up for the 2014/15 season.
Following two years with Mohun Bagan, Chaudhari returned to his home city of Mumbai to represent Mumbai FC in the I-League. A season later, he made his ISL debut with Kerala Blasters, before joining Delhi Dynamos for the following season.
Chaudhari’s travels continued as he shifted to Jamshedpur FC in 2018 before moving to Mumbai City FC for the 2019/20 season. After a season with Mumbai City FC, he joined Bengaluru FC. The Bangalore franchise will hope that Chaudhari can bring all of his experience from the various clubs he has played for to provide solidity at the back for them.
The 22-year-old from Manipur made his professional debut that the age of 16 with the now-dissolved Pune City FC’s reserve team. Muirang later made his I-League debut with Gokulam Kerala, where he spent two seasons.
Muirang was signed by Bengaluru FC in 2020, who will hope that the Manipuri defender takes the club to greater heights in the future.
23-year-old Golui, a member of the AIFF Elite Academy, made his professional debut with Mohun Bagan in 2016.
After spending two seasons with the Kolkata club, Golui went to Pune City where he was a regular starter in the two seasons there.
The promising centre-back was signed up by Mumbai City FC and after a multi-season stint at Mumbai, East Bengal roped in the youngster for a solitary season following which he made his move to Bengaluru FC in 2021.
Even though he is just 23, Golui has represented five clubs and made four national appearances for the senior national team.
Kumar made his professional debut with I-League team Chennai City FC in 2018.
After two seasons with the Chennai team, Bengaluru FC roped in Kumar in 2020 on a three-year deal.
Gabonese centre-back Musavu-King was a member of the SC Hérouville and USON Mondeville junior academy before moving to French Ligue 2 side Caen. After five seasons with Caen, Musavu-King moved to LaLiga side Granada FC before serving spells at Udinese, Toulouse and St. Gallen.
Musavu-King moved back to the French Ligue 2 with Le Mans in 2019 before the Bangalore franchise signed the Gabon international on a two-year deal.
Hailing from Amravati, Shrivas made his professional debut with Bengaluru FC in 2019, having been roped in by the side in 2017. After spending two seasons with the Bengaluru B team, Shrivas was promoted to the senior team in 2019.
A member of the Bengaluru FC youth academy, Singh had a three-year stint with the Bengaluru B team from 2017 to 2020 before being promoted to the senior team in 2020.
Singh also spent a season on loan with Indian Arrows during the 2017/18 campaign.
Bengaluru FC Midfielders
Brazilian midfielder Ramires was a part of the Bahia youth academy before moving to Cruzeiro. He made his professional debut with Cruzeiro and was with the club for five years, although he spent time away on loan with Vitória, Moreirense and Ponte Preta.
Ramires shifted to CSA in 2019, before making the move to Feirense and Belenenses in the next two years. Bengaluru FC signed the Brazilian in August 2021 on a two-year deal.
Suresh Singh Wangjam
21-year-old Wangjam, a member of the AIFF Elite Academy, started off at the age of 15, and his talent and skill earned him a U17 national team call-up. Wangjam represented India at the 2017 U17 World Cup and his performances got him a call up from Indian Arrows.
After two seasons with Indian Arrows, the Manipur-born defensive midfielder shifted to Bengaluru FC, where he spent a season with the B team before moving to the senior team.
Danish Farooq Bhat
A product of the J&K Bank Football Club, Bhat’s exceptional skill got him a call-up from Lonestar Kashmir, an I-League 2nd Division team, in 2015. After a season with Lonestar, Bhat moved on to Real Kashmir in the I-League premier division, where he spent five seasons and was also the highest scorer for his team in the 2017/18 season.
After five seasons with Real Kashmir, Bhat was signed by Bengaluru FC on a two-year deal.
A member of the DSK-LFC International Academy and the Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools, a young Kumar started off by captaining Delhi in the BC Roy Trophy in 2013 at the U19 level. His performances with DSK Shivajians earned him a call-up for the senior team where he made his debut in 2016.
After a season with DSK Shivajians, Kumar shifted to the ISL with Pune City FC and spent two years in Pune before being roped in by Hyderabad FC. Due to lack of game time in Hyderabad, Kumar moved on from the Deccan team to Kerala Blasters in 2020, and after a solitary season with the Kerala team, he was signed up by the Bangalore franchise on a two-year deal.
One of the most recognisable names in Indian football, Rane started his youth career with the Mumbai FC academy in 2008 before moving up to the senior team in 2012. After spending four seasons with the Mumbai team, Rane made the switch to ISL, moving to Chennaiyin in 2016.
Rane, who previously had a loan with the Chennai team in 2015, was a member of the 2015 ISL-winning team and had another season on contract with them before moving to ATK in 2017.
After four seasons with ATK and one championship, Rane moved to Bengaluru FC in 2021.
21-year-old Morajkar, a product of the AIFF Academy, joined the Bengaluru FC Reserves and Academy team in 2016.
After three successful years with the Bengaluru B team, that saw them win the Bangalore Super Division twice in 2018/19 and 2019/20, Morajkar earned a call-up to the senior team and has been one of their players since 2019.
A member of the Pune FC academy, Kuruniyan played a crucial role in Pune FC’s runners-up campaign in the 2014/15 U19 season. His performances earned him a place in the senior team, and the promising youngster from Malappuram also spent a season on loan with LaLiga side Villarreal’s reserve team.
After a season with the Spanish team, Kuruniyan was drafted into the ISL with Pune City FC and spent two seasons with the team before their disbandment.
Following the disbandment of Pune City FC, Kuruniyan was signed by Bengaluru FC on a four-year deal in 2019.
A graduate of the Bengaluru FC academy, Lyngdoh represented the Bengaluru side at the U16, U18 levels and its B side before signing for the senior team in 2021.
Lyngdoh is currently the youngest player to have represented the club at the professional level, making his debut at the age of 17 years and 190 days.
Hailing from Kanglatongbi in Manipur, Chhetri was a graduate of the Bengaluru FC academy and was a member of the Bengaluru B team that won the 2018/19 Bangalore Super Division.
Chhetri signed for the senior squad in 2018 and since then has spent two seasons on loan with Hyderabad FC and East Bengal, before returning to Bengaluru FC in 2021.
Iranian professional, Basafa spent his youth career at Shahrdari Bandar Abbas, Mes Sarcheshmeh, Steel Azin and Shahrdari Arak before making his professional debut in 2012 for the latter.
After a season with Arak, the midfielder joined Esteghal on a two year deal. Basafa moved to Fajr Sepasi in 2015 and spent two years with them before moving to Malavan. Basafa had further stins with Aluminium Arak, Pars Jonoubi and Machine Sazi before signing for Bengaluru FC ahead of the 2021 season.
Bengaluru FC Forwards
One of the country’s finest-ever players, Chhetri has had an illustrious career which has seen the striker receive multiple accolades over his 19-year career.
Chhetri has represented a total of ten clubs, starting from his debut with Mohun Bagan in 2002 to his current spell with Bengaluru FC. Over the course of the 19 years in between, Chhetri has played around the world: from Sporting CP’s B team (2012-13) in Portugal to the Kansas City Wizards (2010) in the United States.
He currently ranks fourth on the list of most international goals scored amongst active players in men’s football, with only the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ali Mabkhout ahead of him. Not a bad list to be on.
Chhetri has won the I-League, the ISL, the Federation Cup and the Durand Cup at the club level in India and has helped and led the national team to wins at the Nehru Cup (2007, 2009 and 2012), the 2011 SAFF Championship, the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup and the 2018 Intercontinental Cup.
Even at 37, Chhetri is a vital member of both the national and the club sides and Bengaluru will depend a lot on their talisman in order to secure a second ISL trophy.
20-year-old Narayanan started his career at Tamil Nadu’s Raman Vijan Soccer School before joining Bengaluru FC’s B team.
Narayanan started off strong, ending his first season as the top scorer, which saw him get a call up to the senior team.
An East Bengal youth academy graduate, Singh made his professional debut with the Kolkata giants in 2018.
After two years with East Bengal, Singh moved to Manipur side TRAU where he had a stunning debut season, scoring 12 times in 15 games.
Singh’s form caught the eye of the Bangalore-based franchise, who signed up the youngster from Manipur on a three-year deal in 2021.
Veteran Brazilian forward Cleiton Silva started his career in Brazil with Madureira at their youth academy before making a senior-team debut for them in 2008. Silva spent the next five years with three different clubs: Osotspa, Police Tero FC (formerly BEC Tero Sasana) and Delfines.
In 2014, Silva made the switch to Muangthong United in Thailand where he spent three seasons and managed to score more than 100 goals. He spent further time in Thailand with Chiangrai United and Suphanburi before signing with Bengaluru FC in 2020 on a one-plus-one year deal.
Bengaluru will be hoping that Chhetri and Silva use their vast knowledge and experience to guide them to glory.
One of the country’s most promising talents, Udanta is a product of the Tata Football Academy, where he spent four years (2010 to 2014).
A promising start at Tata Football Academy led to the Bangalore-based franchise signing up the youngster from Manipur. Since then, Singh has had sporadic appearances with the Blue Brigade but has always shown glimpses of his talent.
The Bangalore team will hope for Singh to have a breakthrough season where he can lead the attack from the front and slowly take over the attacking responsibilities from his ageing captain.
Another member of the Bengaluru academy, Lalrindika spent a year on loan with Indian Arrows before making it to the Bengaluru senior team.
Following a year on loan with East Bengal in 2020, Lalrindika returned to Bangalore for the 2021 season.
Singh started his career at the United Punjab FC before making his senior debut with Indian Arrows in 2018.
After a couple of seasons with Indian Arrows, Singh was signed by East Bengal where he spent one year before joining Bengaluru FC on a two-year deal in 2021.
Ibara started his career with Congolese side ACNFF in 2014 before moving to AS Pélican. After spells with CA Bizertin in Tunisia, Al-Wakrah in Qatar, and USM Alger in Algeria, Ibara moved to Belgian side Beerschot where he spent two years, from 2019 to 2021, before joining Bengaluru FC on a two-year deal in 2021.
The Blues will hope the Congolese brings all his international experience from the multiple clubs he’s played for to help them march on.
22-year-old Bhutia started his professional career with Indian Arrows in 2017.
Seeing the promise and talent in Bhutia, Bengaluru FC signed the Sikkimese player in 2018. Bhutia spent two seasons with Bengaluru’s B team before being promoted to the senior team in 2020. Bhutia currently has a deal which keeps him at the club till 2023.
Another member of the Bengaluru FC youth academy, the youngster from Kozihikode spent a year with the academy team before getting promotion to the senior team in 2017.