best football clubs India

Top 10 Indian football clubs 2023/24

August 22, 2023

With another season of the Indian Super League (ISL) heading towards us at a rapid pace, it’s time to count down the best Indian football clubs at the moment.

Please note that this list takes into consideration the current form while providing little place for the history of the clubs. That said, the list will feature teams playing in the top flight of Indian football.

Here are our top 10 Indian football clubs heading into the new season.

Also read: Top 8 Indian Super League (ISL) coaches of all time

Ranked: Top 10 Indian football clubs 2023/24

1. Mumbai City FC

It’s extremely difficult to look past Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City FC as we enter the 2023/24 ISL season. Mumbai City have been extremely successful in the past few years, and it only looks as though the same will continue.

Despite failing to win the ISL trophy last year, City ended up winning the league shield and nearly went the enter campaign unbeaten. After finishing as runners-up in the 2022 Durand Cup, the players put on a show during the ISL. The club also won the 2020/21 ISL trophy after finishing on top of the league, level on points with Mohun Bagan.

In terms of playing style, there aren’t many that can compete with Mumbai City, who look to play with the ball and dominate possession. Following Akash Mishra’s signing this summer, yet another ISL trophy seems to be on the cards for the Islanders.

2. Mohun Bagan Super Giant

Not many Indian clubs can boast of the history Mohun Bagan Super Giant possess. Some would argue Bengaluru FC deserve second place, but following the Mariners’ ISL victory last season, this position is merited. In terms of honours in Indian football, not many compete with Mohun Bagan.

Mohun Bagan have won the top-flight competition in Indian football six times. To add to this, they have 16 Durand Cups and 14 Federation Cups to their name as well.

Mohun Bagan have strengthened severely this summer. Bringing in Anirudh Thapa from Chennaiyin FC and Sahal Abdul Samad from Kerala Blasters FC, their Indian contingent is looking fairly strong. They have also added the likes of Jason Cummings and Armando Sadiku to strengthen their foreign contingent.

Also Read – Indian Super League (ISL) teams and their head coaches for 2023/24 season 

3. Bengaluru FC

Bengaluru FC would certainly be among the most successful clubs in Indian football when seen in proportion to the time of the club’s existence. The Blues finished runners-up in the ISL last year, losing out on penalties to Mohun Bagan in the final.

Bengaluru FC were founded in 2013 and have won India’s top-tier competition on three occasions. Additionally, they have three Federation Cups and one Durand Cup to their name. The Bengaluru-based outfit are also the only Indian team to make it to the AFC Cup final.

Simon Grayson and his men look set for the new season. With players like Curtis Main and Ryan Williams strengthening their attacking positions, Bengaluru FC will fancy their chances of another top-four finish in the ISL.

4. FC Goa

FC Goa move into the new season with a fair bit of expectation to deliver upon, having brought in Manolo Márquez to lead them this year. The Spanish coach has a good track record in India so far, having won the ISL trophy during his stint at Hyderabad FC.

FC Goa finished a disappointing seventh in the league stage last year. After missing out on the playoffs, their fans will be hoping for a better season this time out.

As far as history is concerned, the Goan outfit are yet to get their hands on the ISL trophy. Despite finishing top of the table in the 2019/20 season, they failed to reach the final. They also missed out on winning the trophy in 2015 and 2019, finishing runners-up on both seasons.

5. Hyderabad FC

Hyderabad FC have been a dominant force in Indian football over the last few seasons. They managed to win the ISL trophy in the 2021/22 season, adding to their good performances in the league stage of the tournament. However, the club will need something special to continue matching their results of late.

After finishing second on the table to Mumbai City FC last year, Hyderabad FC lost out to Mohun Bagan in the semi-finals. Having lost their ISL-winning coach Manolo Márquez and a host of foreign players, and the new faces having not had much time to gel together, it will be interesting to see how the team fare this season.

6. Chennaiyin FC

It is fair to state that Chennaiyin FC have been fairly underwhelming in terms of performances of late. They failed to qualify for the ISL playoffs in the 2022/23 campaign, finishing eighth in the table. They had the same result in the previous campaign as well.

However, it becomes difficult to push the club further down the ladder here given the success they have enjoyed in the past. Chennaiyin FC have won the ISL trophy on two occasions, although these triumphs came during the initial years of the tournament. After winning the league in 2015, the club followed it up with yet another victory in the 2017/18 season.

7. Odisha FC

Odisha FC seem to be one of those sides that look to be going upward as the years go by. Their progress is the primary reason for occupying a spot ahead of Kerala Blasters FC on this list. The club won the Hero Super Cup last season after finishing in the playoff spots of the ISL.

Despite failing to make the semi-finals last year, Odisha FC have made some interesting signings to help their cause this time out. Experienced players Ahmed Jahouh and Mourtada Fall undoubtedly add to the quality of the side. With new manager Sergio Lobera, it looks as though the club are heading in the right direction ahead of the new ISL season.

8. Kerala Blasters FC

One may be perplexed to find Kerala Blasters FC in eighth place here. However, we are concerned about the current state of the club.

The Blasters lost out on star man Sahal Abdul Samad this summer after he preferred a move to Mohun Bagan Super Giant. They have also lost starting players Harmanjot Singh Khabra and Jessel Carneiro ahead of the new season. Ivan Vukomanovi?’s men have been dealt a further blow, as new signing Jaushua Sotirio is set to miss the majority of the new campaign.

However, one must not forget that the Blasters have finished as ISL runners-up on three occasions. The latest of these feats came during the 2021/22 season.

9. Jamshedpur FC

We now come to Jamshedpur FC, who apart from one stellar ISL season in the 2021/22 campaign have failed to register much else of note. In the 2021/22 season, they finished on top of the ISL table in the league stage but failed to win the ISL trophy.

Apart from last season, Jamshedpur FC have managed several mid-table finishes, thereby not making much of a case for themselves as far as this list is concerned. However, their fans will be hoping that the introduction of Scott Cooper as head coach will turn their side’s fortunes around.

Also Read – Indian Super League (ISL) clubs and their stadiums

10. East Bengal FC

Many would state that East Bengal FC have been one of Indian football’s greatest clubs. However, this list takes into consideration largely the ISL era, during which the Kolkata-based outfit have been rather poor.

East Bengal FC finished ninth last season, level on points with Jamshedpur FC and above a struggling NorthEast United FC side that managed just one victory last year.

The club have now brought in Carles Cuadrat to change their fortunes. After failing to finish in the top half of the table in the three years since joining the ISL, it certainly looks like an uphill battle for any manager taking over one of the biggest clubs in Indian football.

Also Read
Top 10 Indian midfielders to watch in the ISL 2023/24 season
Top 10 Indian forwards to watch in the ISL 2023/24 season

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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