Rumours Abound about Next Year’s ISL Marquee Players

Thierry Henry may join the other ISL marquee players to light up the Indian Super League next year. I can’t keep the grin off my face! What wonderful news! But then what do you expect from an Arsenal fan? Any football lover should love this man, even if you’re not an Arsenal fan. After all, he is going to be the only Invincible playing on Indian soil. The man led a team through 49 unbeaten matches. How can you not love him if you love football?

Really…Henry May Join FC Goa Next Year

You! Yes You! He's Coming to Dazzle You!

Pires: You! Yes You! He’s Coming to Dazzle You!

Seriously speaking though, according to L’Equipe of France, it’s possible that Thierry Henry will join FC Goa as their ISL marquee player. L’Equipe’s article even went on to suggest that Pires has been selling the ISL to his long time buddy. If you’re wondering what will happen to Robert Pires then I have even better news. He’ll become the team’s Player Manager so that Henry can become their marquee players. Imagine that, seeing Vroom power on Indian soil.

As per reports in the French publication, Henry has supposedly already had a chat with Pires about the likelihood of joining FC Goa next year. As many of you may already know, Henry was approached by Delhi Dynamos before this inaugural season began but he declined to join the league possibly because he was uncertain of the quality of the league. However, the formal reasoning given for the rejection was that he was tied with his current club New York Red Bulls.

ISL’s Rising Popularity Abroad Cited as the Reason

It seems the rising popularity of the Indian Super League has been turning heads all over the world. Reports even suggest that the ISL marquee players have managed to lure some European audience for the Indian Super League.

It’s not that surprising though because ISL marquee players like Robert Pires, Alessandro Del Piero, Koke, Luis Garcia, and Capdevila all have devoted fans from their respective countries. There’re also South American players in the league who have a decent following in their respective countries such as Elano. It’s probably all these fans of key ISL marquee players who have increased the viewership of the Indian Super League abroad abroad.

Other Possible ISL Marquee Players?

Before I let my excitement over Henry’s possible (hopefully impending) arrival get out of hand, I should mention that he isn’t the only legend who may be joining our band of ISL marquee players next year. It’s possible that former England International and Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand along with formerly Bayern Munich’s and Peru International Claudio Pizarro may also join the ranks of ISL marquee players next year. I am so happy that I started this blog! Cheers!

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Video: Top 8 ISL Goals

I have a video for you today. It’s a video containing the top 8 ISL goals up until October 25, 2014 which means that it’s a selection of the best ISL goals up till the Northeast United FC’s 2 – 0 win over Mumbai City FC. It’s a simple video but that is the beauty of it. Even though I wouldn’t have picked the same goals in my top 8 ISL goals, it’s a matter of perspective at the end of the day. Just watch the goals and enjoy without worrying about all the flimflam that video editors of today tend to go for.

I particularly liked the goal from Bernard Mendy with the overhead kick that went into the top corner like a bullet. Remember, Mendy is supposed to be a defender. Still, he’s always had that offensive streak. Elano with his cool and composed freekick taking abilities and Elias’s outside the foot lash of a shot also deserve a mention.

The video was created by the people at VidioLikes. Commendations all around! Cheers!

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ISL Stadiums: Learn Where Your Favourite ISL Team Plays

This is the inaugural season of the Indian Super League. So, it’s understandable that we don’t really know about all the little intricacies of the teams even though we’ve seen multiple ISL stadiums by now and may even be on the verge of choosing one to support.

I, for one, feel this intense temptation to throw my hat in with the Chennaiyin fans even though I’m based in Delhi. Why, you ask? Well, simply because I like a team that plays good football and so far Chennaiyin has impressed me. Still, I can’t really make the decision without some more watching. I’m sure I’ll know which team I support by the end of December… erm… almost.

ISL Stadiums

Let’s get back to the point. You’ve been watching these matches and may even be rooting for your teams but do you know about the stadiums that these teams play in? We’ve all heard of the Bernabeu of Real Madrid, the Nou Camp of Barcelona, Old Trafford of Manchester United, the Emirates of Arsenal, the Allianz Arena of Bayern Munich, and the recently infamous SportsDirect.com @ St. James’ Park of Newcastle United but do we know which ISL stadiums our teams play in?*

I’m here to correct this little oversight. Here we go.

Atletico de Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium

ISL Stadium KolkataLocated in Kolkata, this stadium was built in 1984 and is the largest football stadium in the country with a maximum capacity of 68,000.** Like most other things in this country, we’ve tried to maximise the use of this gem of a stadium because this ISL stadium is home to not only the ISL table topper but also four other teams, namely Mohun Bagan AC, East Bengal FC, and Mohammedan SC.

Chennaiyin FC’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

JNS ChennaiThis is one of four ISL stadiums that share the name. We know how much we respect our first Prime Minister. Such is the cosmic national Indian respect that I almost wrote Chacha before all of that. The stadium first came into being in 1993 and has a total capacity of 40,000. BTW, if you see animals prowling during matches in this stadium, don’t be surprised because it was built over the old Madras Zoo.

Delhi Dynamos FC’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

JNS DelhiThe second ISL stadium titled JNS in this list, this stadium was built in 1982 for Asian Games but was renovated before the highly controversial Commonwealth Games of 2010. Does anyone know what happened to Suresh Kalmadi? He just disappeared from the news. The stadium’s capacity is 60,254. The South Asian Games were held in this ISL stadium and Bayern Munich also played the Indian Football Team in 2013 here.

FC Goa’s Fatorda Stadium

Fatorda Stadium GoaFatorda Stadium reminds me of a wide variety of dishes largely because I can’t forget the word Asafoetida. It’s supposed to be some kind of a spice used in rare delicacies in India. Can you guess the official name of this stadium? Ah, you’re right! Its Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. FC Goa have been unable to add spice to their ISL stadium this season even though the lush green park offers one of the better playing surfaces in the league. The stadium is also home to Churchill Brothers, Dempo, Salgaocar, and Sporting Clube de Goa.

Kerala Blasters FC’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

JNS KochiThe fourth and last JNS in this list belongs to Kerala Blasters. The ISL stadium is the largest of the lot as its capacity is 75,000. The stadium was inaugurated in 1996 and is home to Kerala Strikers, FC Kochin, and Kerala Football Team. This stadium was primarily built so that it could host football matches. However, it has subsequently been used for cricket matches as well.

Mumbai City FC’s DY Patil Stadium

DY Patil Stadium MumbaiThis ISL stadium was established for the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. For those of you who’re not Indians, that’s the special cricket league that everyone is crazy about in this country. The stadium can hold up to 55,000 people and is known for its state of the art facilities.

Northeast United’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium

Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium GuwahatiThis is one of the simpler ISL stadiums in the league right now but it won’t be surprising if it gets developed because of its involvement in the league. The stadium opened in 2007 and can hold about 35,000 souls. Before the ISL started, this stadium could only support 12,000 people but had to be renovated to meet FIFA’s restrictions.

FC Pune City’s Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex

Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex PuneYes, the more you travel to the south, the longer the names get. My fingers are grateful that there isn’t an ISL stadium in Trivandrum and that the Keralites kept their stadium’s name simple. This ISL stadium was opened in 1995 and is even simpler than Northeast United’s home ground. It earlier boasted of a capacity of 12,000 which was increased to 22,000 recently.

*Fun fact time. Have you heard of Wankdorf Stadium? It was in Switzerland and the team that used to play there was called BSC Young Boys. Ahem, cough, cough. You never grow old with that kind of a profession eh?

**Just to put things in perspective, the Emirates stadium’s capacity is 60,272, Old Trafford’s is 75,635, and Wembley’s is 90,000.

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