One of the top teams in the Indian Super League, Bengaluru Football Club, more popularly known as Bengaluru FC, has been competing since the start of the league and has gained immense recognition and fan following.
In 2013, the football club began its journey with a sign on to the Indian Super League. In its first-ever year, the club has crowned the winner of the league, and ever since, has won another league title. Bengaluru FC has also been twice crowned the winner of the Federation Cup and has also won the Super Cup.
Let’s look at the football club’s journey from the start and what makes it so popular.
Bengaluru FC, also nicknamed “The Blues”, is owned by the JSW Group, with Sajjan Jindal as its chairman.
The head coach for the club is Marco Pezzaiuoli, a well-known German football manager.
The club’s main grounds are located at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, which can accommodate over 25,000 people.
The club’s jersey colours are blue for home games, white for games played away and green for other events.
The Club’s Inception
It all started when the JSW Group bid to be a part of India’s football league or the I-League. At the same time, Karnataka State Football Association’s president suggested that Bangalore host the FIFA under 17 World Cup in partnership with a corporate entity that could help them build the infrastructure required to become a host venue.
Soon enough, JSW won the bid to create a team that could directly enter the I-League. At the same time, the group also announced that they would be setting up sporting infrastructure as well as an academy for younger football enthusiasts to train at. Later in 2013, the Bangalore Football Club was officially launched at the Bangalore Football Stadium. To supplement the club’s members, Ashley Westwood was picked as its head coach and Curtis Osano, John Johnson, and Sunil Chhetri (captain of the Indian national football team) were signed on as players. The club’s first match was at its home ground against Mohun Bagan, which ended in a draw.
In the next few years, Bengaluru FC played away games, participated in the Federation Cup, and qualified to play in the AFC Champions League.
Club Identity and Sponsorships
On the launch of its livery, the club’s crest featured the backdrop of the beautiful Bangalore Palace as an ode to symbolise the Wodeyar victory. As a tribute to the fearless, resilient and brave people of Bengaluru, the middle of the crest has a two-headed Gandaberunda. The Gandaberunda is a mythical bird borrowed from the Karnataka state’s coat of arms. In 2015, the club’s official mascot was revealed to be an eagle, with the moniker, Eddie the Eagle.
Over the years, in addition to JSW, the club has been sponsored majorly by Kia, with Puma as the main sponsor for kits and apparel. Minor sponsors have included the likes of Kingfisher, SF Sonic, EPSON, Nissin, DafaNews, EatFit and My Fan Park.
The club began with the Bangalore Football Stadium as its official stadium but soon moved to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, which fans also refer to as the “Fortress”.
The Bengaluru FC has a huge fanbase in India, and its supporters are commonly referred to as the West Block Blues. The club’s players have always acknowledged what a tremendous role the supporters have had in their victories and refer to them as their “12th man”, in other words, an indispensable part of the team itself. The Bengaluru FC itself is a huge supporter of the Indian national football team, having proven this at India vs Guam game where they unfurled a banner showcasing their enthusiasm and support.
When speaking in pure sportsman spirit, the club’s rivals are seen as Mohun Bagan and the Kerala Blasters.
Bengaluru FC’s wins through the ages
Bengaluru FC has been bestowed with a number of honours and awards since its inception.
2013-14 – Winner, I-League
2014-15 – Runners up, I-League; Winner, Federation Cup
2015-16 – Winner, I-League
2016-17 – Runners up, AFC Cup; Winner, Federation Cup
2017-18 – Runners up, Indian Super League
2018-19 – Winner, Indian Super League; Winner, Indian Super Cup
In addition, the club has also actively participated in the AFC Champions League twice and played for the AFC Cup for five years consecutively from 2015 to 2020.
The Sports School Football Academy with Bengaluru FC offers comprehensive programs for Professional Football Coaching with experienced coaches licensed by AFC and AIFF. Our football program helps players, of each age group, develop and play competitive football. The monitoring and evaluation of the student’s performance are done by the Head of Youth Development and BFC Youth Academy coaches, in addition to which, students are also provided Sports Science expertise – Strength & Conditioning, Nutrition, and Injury Prevention concepts.Know More