Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City Football Club is an Indian professional football club based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, which competes in the Indian Super League under licence from the All India Football Federation (AIFF).[1][2] The team is co-owned by City Football Group, Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and Bimal Parekh, a chartered accountant.[3]

Mumbai City FC
Full nameMumbai City Football Club
Nickname(s)The Islanders
Short nameMCFC
Founded30 August 2014 (2014-08-30)
GroundMumbai Football Arena, Mumbai
Capacity8,000
Owner(s)City Football Group (65%)
Ranbir Kapoor (18%)
Bimal Parekh (17%)
ManagerJorge Costa
LeagueIndian Super League
2018–19Regular season: 3rd of 10
Finals: Semi-finals
WebsiteClub website
Departments of Mumbai City FC
Football
(Men's)
Football
(Reserve Men's)
Football
(Youth Men's)

Former England international Peter Reid managed the club[4] and Freddie Ljungberg was the marquee player for the first season.[5] For the second season, it was announced that Nicolas Anelka would don the position of marquee player as well as manager of the club[6]. In 2016, Diego Forlán played as the marquee player[7] while Alexandre Guimarães took over as the new manager.[8] In 2018, Jorge Costa was announced as the head coach[9] for the new season while Rafael Bastos and Modou Sougou were announced as the notable signings.[10][11] For the 2019 ISL season, Jorge Costa retained his spot as coach, and Amine Chermiti and Diego Carlos were announced as new signings.

History

In early 2014, it was announced that the All India Football Federation, the National Federation for Football in India, and IMG-Reliance would be accepting bids for ownership of eight of nine selected cities for the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL), an eight-team franchise league modeled along the lines of the Indian Premier League, the country's professional cricket league.[1][12]

First season (2014)

On 15 September 2014, the club signed Nicolas Anelka, a former French international who had been a free agent since his departure from West Bromwich Albion earlier in the year.[13] Three days later, former Swedish international Freddie Ljungberg was signed as the team's first marquee player, returning from two years of retirement.[14]

Mumbai were the visitors in the first ever ISL match on 12 October 2014, at Atlético de Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium. Without Anelka and Ljungberg, the side lost 3–0.[15] On 18 October 2014, the club registered their first victory over FC Pune City by beating them 5–0 at DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai, in which André Moritz registered the first ever hat-trick of ISL.[16] The team finished seventh in the table out of eight and did not qualify for the playoffs.

Second season (2015)

In July 2015, Nicolas Anelka became player-manager, replacing Englishman Peter Reid.[17] Frantz Bertin was appointed captain at the beginning of the season.[18] The club signed India's All Time Record Goal Scorer and Indian National Football Team captain Sunil Chhetri for a domestic record-breaking deal of ₹ 1.2 Crore.[19] The club also signed 2015 I-league's player of the year Haitian Sony Norde[20]. Sunil Chhetri was the top scorer for Blues as he scored 7 Goals including a hat trick against North East United FC[21] Mumbai won only four matches and lost six matches out of 14 matches to finish in sixth position in the group table. Due to such results, Anelka resigned and announced his departure at the end of the season.[22]

Alexandre Guimarães era (2016–2018)

After first two seasons, Mumbai City's management made big changes as they appointed Alexandre Guimarães as the head coach for the 2016–17 Indian Super League (ISL) season. The club also moved into their new home, Mumbai Football Arena. The club also signed 2010 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball winner Diego Forlán on a three-month deal, with Option to Extend for another year as a marquee. [23]

Ljungberg sat out the first season after a few brief appearances.Nicolas Anelka moved to a coaching role. This season showcased Diego Forlán. The Uruguayan changed the dynamics of a struggling team to title contenders. Forlan scored the first hat-trick of the Hero Indian Super League 2016 season as Mumbai City FC beat Kerala Blasters 5–0 at Mumbai Football Arena on 19 November 2016.[24] It was also the first hat-trick of any marquee player in the history of the ISL. The team conceded the least number of goals (8) of all teams in the league, whilst Lucian Goian has the most number of tackles (67) in the league. This managed to fix the goal conceded stat in favour of the Mumbaikars. Alexandre's men kept 8 clean sheets in the group stage, making it a record across all the three editions of the tournament. This had been possible due to the rugged approach of the team. A compact midfield and a packed defense have kept the opposition attackers at bay. Argentine Matias Defederico had been partnering Forlan up front. The dual forward strategy had reaped benefits for the team. They have received the record for inflicting the biggest defeat when they had 5 goals past FC Pune City. As a result, Mumbai City finished the 14 rounds with 6 wins, 5 draws and 3 losses. This was a steep improvement from previous seasons. However, it went down to Atletico de Kolkata in the twin legged semi-finals.

The Mumbai franchise continued to work with Alexandre Guimarães after he guided the club to their first ever playoffs in three seasons. The club opted to re-sign Amrinder Singh for 12.0 million INR. He was the best goalkeeper in the league in 2016, keeping record clean sheets for the club. They also retained the services of midfielder Sehnaj Singh who was instrumental in the club's success in the earlier season. In the foreign department, they retained the defensive duo of Lucian Goian and Gerson Vieira and midfielder Leo Costa. They also retained Rakesh Oram under the U-21 player quota. They finished the season in 7th position, failing to qualify for the playoffs, with the coach being criticized for overly defensive tactics.

Mumbai City FC also took part in the inaugural edition of the Super Cup. They kicked off proceedings smoothly by defeating Indian Arrows by a scoreline reading 2–1 in the qualifier Round. However they were handed a defeat by East Bengal FC in the Round of 16. On 14 August 2018, Mumbai City FC officially stated that, "Mumbai City FC and Alexandre Guimarães have parted company by mutual consent." This ended the Guimarães Era with the Brazilian-born Costa Rican manager being with the Islanders since 2016.

Jorge Costa era (2018–present)

After the announcement that Mumbai City FC had parted ways with Guimarães, the Islanders broke the news about their new head coach. Former Portugal international Jorge Costa had signed to be the coach of Mumbai City FC for the 2018/19 Indian Super League season. The Club also signed India Internationals Alen Deory and Subhasish Bose. The Foreign Players for the new season were announced to be Modou Sougou, Rafael Bastos, Marko Klisura, Arnold Issoko, Paolo Machado, Matias Mirabaje, and long standing central defender Lucian Goian. The team started the season with a 2–0 loss at home to Jamshedpur, followed by a 1–1 draw to Kerala Blasters. The team then recorded a 2–0 win against FC Pune City, and then lost 5–0 to Goa. After that Coach Costa made some interesting tactical changes which led to the club's best unbeaten run in history (9 games unbeaten). The team ended December with a 6–1 win against Kerala Blasters, with Modou Sougou scoring 4 of the teams 6 goals in the match, which was a record breaking tally as Sougou became the First player in the league to score 4 goals, & it was Mumbai's best victory against any club. They also managed to break league leaders Bengaluru FC 's unbeaten run at Mumbai Football Arena in January. The club managed to secure Play-off Finish with a 3–1 Victory against ATK on 22 February 2019 with a game in hand thanks to Modou Sougou 's second hattrick, which is also a record for having maximum hattricks for the Mumbai team. The 3rd place finish saw them face off against FC Goa , which resulted in an embarrassing 5–1 defeat at Home despite Mumbai opening the scoring. But they managed to bounce back and beat Goa in the Away fixture by a scoreline of 1–0. It wasn't enough however as the team had to bow out based on Goal Difference and hence couldn't play in the 2018/19 ISL Final happening in Mumbai itself. Even though Mumbai Lost in Play-offs, Arnold Issoko won the DHL Winning Pass of the League Award for his maximum assists (8 assists) in the League & Modou Sougou became joint second goalscorer with 12 Goals. Fan Favorite Amrinder Singh ended the league with most number of saves & joint highest number of clean sheets (6). With that positive note, on 19 March 2019, the officials of the club confirmed that Head Coach Jorge Costa had extended his stay at the club. The Portuguese signed a one-year extension and would continue to be at the helm for the Islanders until the end of the 2019/20 season.

The next task at hand for Jorge Costa and the side was the 2019 Hero Super Cup with the Islanders drawn to play Chennaiyin FC in the Round of 16 on 29 March at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. Costa opted to play with an almost all-Indian Squad having Lucian Goian as the only foreign recruit in their ranks. Costa also Promoted two highly rated youngsters from the youth ranks, Mohammed Kaif & Nakul Shelke. The team started off promisingly, but failed to capitalise on the chances created & were eliminated from the Super Cup with a 2–0 defeat.

After losing former club captain and record appearance maker Lucian Goian to Chennaiyin FC before the 2019–20 season, MCFC brought in Mato Grgic, Serge Kevyn, Amine Chermiti, Diego Carlos, and Mohamed Larbi to replace the departing captain as well as Arnold Issoko, who recorded the highest amount of assists in the league during the 2018/19 season. Jorge Costa was retained as coach for the new season, with the first game of the 2019–20 season resulting in a 1–0 win over Kerala Blasters.

Supporters

The West Coast Brigade is the official fan club of Mumbai City FC, which is known for its support to the team both home and away. Renowned for travelling in large numbers to support the team across the length and breadth of the country, the West Coast Brigade is held in high regard by the MCFC management and the players as they have dedicated a stand for West Coast Brigade members in the Mumbai Football Arena. In 2017, Mumbai City FC became the first club in ISL history to announce a special section for away fans.

Rivalries

From league's inception, FC Pune City (now dissolved) and Mumbai City FC were the only two clubs in the Indian Super League from a single state i.e. Maharashtra, which created an elite rivalry between the two, formerly known as the Maha-Derby. But from 2019 season, MCFC is the only club representing the state of Maharashtra. As well as this, Delhi Dynamos (now Odisha FC) had previously been a significant rival of MCFC due to Mumbai and Delhi being the two largest and most significant Indian cities.

Crest

The crest is a reflection of the city's identity. It consists of three main elements, all forming the city's image. The fortress wall on the top depicts the resilient, proud and determined spirit of Mumbai and its people. The seven stars are a reference to the seven islands that form Mumbai, each, an integral and special part of the city. The railway system is an important part of the city, and proves to be its lifeline. It is also the symbol for the spirit of Mumbai – diverse, yet united. It is on this very fundamental that the city functions as a competent, cohesive unit, and thus, the train has been incorporated in the crest. The navy blue colour represents the sea; a figure the city is deeply connected to, in both economic as well as symbolic terms. The white represents sincerity and purity, both of which, the club strives to embody.

Stadium

Mumbai City FC played their home games at the DY Patil Stadium for two seasons (2014–2015), they shifted their home ground to Mumbai Football Arena from 3rd season. Mumbai Football Arena has a capacity of 8,000, and is regularly filled by the team's dedicated fan base. The stadium is modified during the ISL season to incorporate a VIP stand to the east of the stadium which is attended by actor and owner Ranbir Kapoor every game.

The training of team took place at the football turf of Fr. Agnel Multipurpose School and Jr. College, Vashi. The pre-season matches held on NMSA Ground and also at Arena. The training during the ISL takes place at Cooperage Ground, Colaba.[1] In early 2019, the team took a training camp to Goa while other players were busy at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Youth teams

In late 2018, Mumbai City FC announced their under 14 and under 16 teams for the upcoming I-League and MDFA season at the Fr. Agnel Multipurpose School and Jr. College, Vashi. The team have also played in the Youth MDFA League for the U-18 Level, playing various other teams in Mumbai at their level. These youth teams practice at Cooperage Ground, Colaba, and have played various other teams throughout their three age group levels such as Oscar SSE, Kenkre, and Iron Born.

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2014–2015 None Jabong.com
2015–2016

Puma

Ace Group
2017–2018 T10 Sports
2018–2019 Sqad Gear
2019–2020 SportsAdda

Players

Current squad

As of 17 September 2019[25][26]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 GK Amrinder Singh (captain)
2 DF Pratik Chaudhari
3 DF Anwar Ali
4 DF Mato Grgić
5 MF Sourav Das
7 FW Serge Kevyn
8 MF Mohammed Rafique
9 FW Amine Chermiti
10 MF Paulo Machado (captain)
11 MF Raynier Fernandes
12 MF Bidyananda Singh
14 MF Rowllin Borges
15 DF Subhasish Bose
16 DF Sarthak Golui
No. Position Player
17 FW Pranjal Bhumij
18 FW Diego Carlos
19 MF Vignesh Dakshinamurthy
21 MF Mohamed Larbi
22 GK Ravi Kumar
23 DF Souvik Chakrabarti
25 FW Alen Deory
27 MF Surchandra Singh
28 FW Modou Sougou
29 MF Bipin Singh
30 GK Kunal Sawant
31 DF Hmingthanmawia
32 DF Davinder Singh

Club officials

Corporate management

Position Name
Owners City Football Group
Ranbir Kapoor
Bimal Parekh
Chairman Indranil Das Blah
Football Operations Manager Watson Fernandes

Team management

Position Name
Manager Jorge Costa[27]
Asst Coach Anthony Fernandes[28]
Asst Coach Marco Leite[29]
Goalkeeping Coach Pedro Correia[30]
Head Physiotherapist Sandeep Kurale
Asst Physiotherapist Kapil Sharma
Team Masseur Bhushan Tandel
Asst Masseur Akshay Waghmode
Team Doctor Varun Gupta
Team Manager Prateek Maira
Team Media Officer Annujj Palaye
Performance Analyst Narendra Vakare
Asst Analyst Aditya Kurane
Kit Manager Rishi Roy

Records

  • All Time-Top Goalscorers
As of Match played 17 March 2019
Name Years League Knockouts Total
1 Modou Sougou[31]2018–Present12 (16)0- 0(2)12 (18)
2 Sunil Chhetri2015–167 (15)0- 0(2)7 (17)
3 Balwant Singh2017–186 (16)0- 0(-)6 (16)
4 Éverton Santos2017–186 (18)0- 0(-)6 (18)
5 Diego Forlán20165 (10)0- 0(1)5 (11)
6 Thiago2017–185 (13)0- 0(-)5 (13)
7 Rafael Bastos2018–193 (17)02 0(2)5 (19)
8 Sony Norde2015–164 (21)0- 0(2)4 (23)
9 André Moritz2014–153 (8)0- 0(-)3 (8)
10 Frédéric Piquionne20153 (12)0- 0(-)3 (12)

Managerial

As of Match played until 28 March 2019
NameNationalityFromToPWDLGFGAWin%
Peter Reid  England 4 September 2014[32] 2014 14 4 4 6 12 21 028.57
Nicolas Anelka  France 3 July 2015[33] 2015 14 4 4 6 16 26 028.57
Alexandre Guimarães  Costa Rica 19 April 2016[34] 2018 34 13 8 13 43 37 038.24
Jorge Costa  Portugal 14 August 2018 21 10 3 8 25 26 047.62

References

  1. Basu, Saumyajit. "Stars embrace soccer through Indian Super League". Times of India. Archived from the original on 9 June 2014. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  2. "Crystal Palace team up with Mumbai City FC in search for Indian star". Croydon Advertiser. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  3. "CFG acquires majority stake in Indian Super League's Mumbai City FC". 28 November 2019.
  4. "Peter Reid is Mumbai City manager". The Hindu. 5 September 2014.
  5. "Freddie Ljungberg is Mumbai City FC's marquee player".
  6. "Mumbai City FC announces Nicolas Anelka as marquee player-cum-manager for ISL".
  7. {{cite news |url=https://zeenews.india.com/sports/football/mumbai-city-fc-announce-diego-forlan-as-marquee-player_1918819.html%7Ctitle=Mumbai City FC announce Diego Forlan as marquee player
  8. "Mumbai City FC appoint Alexandre Guimaraes as head coach".
  9. "ISL: Jorge Costa appointed as Mumbai City FC head coach".
  10. "ISL 2018-19: Mumbai City FC sign Brazilian Rafael Bastos".
  11. "Mumbai City FC sign Senegal winger Modou Sougou for ISL-5!".
  12. "Indian Super League sees interest from 30 franchise bidders". Business Standard. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  13. "Nicolas Anelka joins Mumbai City in Indian Super League". Sports-nova. Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  14. "ISL: Mumbai City FC sign Freddie Ljungberg". The Times of India. 18 September 2014. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  15. "Ex-Liverpool stars Luis Garcia and Josemi start as Atletico de Kolkata win first Indian Super League clash against Mumbai City". Daily Mail. Associated Press. 12 October 2014. Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  16. "ISL: Moritz scores hat-trick as Mumbai City FC thrash FC Pune City 5-0".
  17. "Nicolas Anelka named Mumbai City player-manager". BBC Sport. 3 July 2015. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  18. "ISL: Sunil Chhetri Hat-Trick helps Mumbai City FC Thrash North East United FC".
  19. "Sunil Chetri goes to Mumbai City FC for Rs 1.20 crore".
  20. "Mumbai City FC retain Pavel Cmovs, sign up Norde".
  21. "ISL: Sunil Chhetri's hat-trick helps Mumbai City FC crush NorthEast United FC 5-1".
  22. "ISL 2015: Nicolas Anelka likely to quit after Mumbai City FC's poor run".
  23. "Mumbai City FC Announce Diego Forlan As Marquee Player".
  24. "ISL 2016: Diego Forlan Hat-trick Helps Mumbai City Trounce Kerala Blasters 5-0".
  25. "Official: Squad numbers announced for 2018–19 season". Mumbai City FC. 25 September 2018. Archived from the original on 25 September 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  26. "Mumbai City FC squad". Indian Super League. Archived from the original on 2 October 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  27. "ISL: Jorge Costa to coach Mumbai City FC next season too". Archived from the original on 20 May 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  28. "Here's wishing our first-team assistant coach Anthony Fernandes on his special day! 🎂🎉".
  29. "Best wishes from #TheIslanders family for our assistant coach Marco Leite as he celebrates his special day! 🎂" via Facebook.
  30. "Look who's in town! 👀👋" via Facebook.
  31. "Modou Sougou". Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  32. "Peter Reid to manage Indian Super League side Mumbai FC". BBC Football. 4 September 2014. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  33. "Nicolas Anelka named Mumbai City player-manager". BBC Sport. 3 July 2015. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  34. "ISL news: Mumbai City FC name Alexandre Guimaraes as Nicolas Anelka's replacement". International Business Times. 19 April 2016. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
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