Bengaluru FC is the face of the modern era of Indian football. Formed in July 2013, BFC have not only managed to deliver quick success, winning the I-League in their first season, but also sustain it since.
Behind the scenes, Bengaluru FC are professionally-run outfit with a set up built on the lines of European sides. The combination of the club’s success on the field and their approach to football off it has resulted in Bengaluru FC becoming one of Indian football’s best club sides in just seven years of existence.
“We are certain the club will raise the bar for professionally run football teams in the country along with being the ideal platform for youth development,” Sajjan Jindal, the Chairman and Managing Director of JSW had said after the launch of Bengaluru FC in 2013.
It’s fair to say, Bengaluru FC have lived up to those words.
Signing Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri from Sporting Lisbon was a big statement of intent early on. It’s a habit that’s stayed with the club who have consistently made landmark achievements, be it the run to the AFC Cup final or moving to the Indian Super League and dominating the competition in the very first year.
As the club turned seven on July 20 (2020), here’s a look at how the numbers represent Bengaluru FC’s journey.
Winners from the word go
Winning the I-league in the very first season was a special achievement but to replicate it and also find success in the cup competitions was remarkable for a club so young. This early habit of winning trophies has certainly developed a winning mentality at the club.
Their record over the seven seasons speaks for itself:
Bengaluru FC club statistics
|Matches Played||Wins||Draws||Losses||Win %||Goals Scored||Goals conceded|
Season-by-season record Bengaluru FC
|Season||Domestic league||Asian competition||Federation Cup/ Super Cup|
|2014-15||Runners-up*||Round of 16||Winners|
|2016-17||Fourth place*||Inter-zone playoff final||Winners|
|2017-18||Runners-up||Inter-zone playoff semi-final||Winners|
|2019-20||Third place/ Semi-finalists||Playoff round||Competition not held|
Only in the 2019-’20 season did Bengaluru FC go without winning a trophy.
Since their inception, no team in Indian football has been as successful as the Blues. In fact, the JSW-owned outfit has won twice as many trophies as the second most successful side during this period.
Trophies won by Indian clubs since 2013
|Club||Number of trophies won since 2013|
|Chennai City FC||1|
The reason behind Bengaluru FC’s rich trophy haul in the last seven years has been consistency. The club have never had a bad campaign and have always challenged for honours either in the league or cup competitions, if not both at a time.
The Blues have the highest win percentage among all teams since they came into existence in 2013.
Some believed that Bengaluru FC would not be able to replicate the success they had in the I-league when they decided to join the ISL, but the JSW-owned outfit hit the ground running in the franchise-based league, reaching the final twice and winning the title in 2019. They have never failed to make the playoffs in the ISL so far.
Comparison of club statistics in ISL
|Teams||Win%||Points per game||Average League positions|
|Mumbai City FC||38||1.38||4.83|
|FC Pune City||33.75||1.25||6|
|Delhi Dynamos and Odisha FC||32||1.26||5.66|
Bengaluru FC have the highest win percentage, points won per game and the best average league position among all ISL clubs. The record was no different when the Blues were part of I-League.
I-League club stats comparison
A force in Asia
One of the bigger coups for Bengaluru FC have been on the continental level where they have emerged as a force in the AFC Cup. Their run to the final in 2016 was a first for an Indian club side in the competition.
Apart from 2016 edition, Bengaluru FC have constantly performed in the competition, advancing beyond the group stage on four occasions.
In just seven years, Bengaluru FC have played 47 matches in Asian competitions, a tally bettered only by East Bengal. However, Bengaluru FC have more wins than any other club in Asian competitions and thus a higher win percentage.
Indian clubs' record in Asia (all-time)
Bengaluru FC will once again be India’s representative at the AFC Cup next season. After a relatively disappointing campaign by their standards that saw them lose tamely to ATK in the ISL playoffs and also exit the AFC Cup at the preliminary round, the focus would be on getting back to the top again at the Sree Kanteerava stadium where a night of continental football is highly cherished.
Their bond with the fans has been another by-product of Bengaluru’s success as they have managed to get the city behind the team.
The West Block Blues is among the top emerging fan groups in India and represent the new era of fandom in Indian football. With a strong presence on social media, the West Block Blues have led the way for new football club fan groups in India.
A trendsetter in so many ways in Indian football, Bengaluru FC are now beginning to transition from a brilliant success story to perennial winners. Attracting the best Indian talent, Bengaluru FC have been working towards building a dynasty in Indian football. If the first seven years are anything to go by, the Blues from Bengaluru are going to take some stopping.