”The Indian El-Classico”! That might just be the right word at the moment to describe the inaugral ISL match between Athletico De Kolkata and Kerala Blasters. Their rivalry have become as fierce as that of Real Madrid Vs FC.Barcelona as ISL proceeds to its 4th season.
It all goes back to 2014,the finale of the first edition of the biggest football festival in India between the two big teams , Athletico De Kolkata and Kerala Blasters. Score-card was 0-0 after the 90 mins.The match might have gone into extra time and then onto Penalties if Mohammed Rafique had not head the cruicial goal at the normal injury time of 92′ to make it 1:0 for Kolkata giants.
Athletico clinched the maiden ISL title thrashing the hopes of huge number of supporters of Kerala Blasters.The Yellow Army’s men and their fans left the groud in tears.
In the 2015 season, ATK roped in star-striker Ian Hume,who was instrumental in Kerala Blaster’s run in the previous season.The 2015 Season went on with the two teams not making any significant impact.
The 2016 ISL Season Finale was held in Kochi,home of Kerala Blasters . Talking about Kochi,Kerala Blasters have the 11th highest average attendance in all the leagues of the world. It is the 15th biggest Club in world in terms of average attendance and fans. The Blasters Fan club ‘Manjappada’ won the Best Club in India award.Coming back to the 2016 finale,the 80000+ fans literally lit up the stadium in yellow. The ‘Yellow sea’ might just be the word. The atmosphere created by the humongous crowd was simply magnificent. The ‘Yellow’ version of ‘Mexican Wave’ is a treat to watch. The match ended up in 1:1 score-card in the normal time.The game went onto extra time and then onto Penalties.
Kerala Blasters captain hit the final Penalty which was cleared inches away from the goal by the Athletico goal-keeper Debjit Majumder.Thus,Athletico clinched their 2nd title away from Kerala Blasters. The Yellow sea was in despair and so were the players. Now You might have an idea about why this is called as the ‘Indian El-Classico’
Both team have played head to head 8 times,with Athletico winning 5 of them and drawing 2 and Kerala Blasters managing to win only a single game.
Coming to this season,Kerala Blasters are clearly the Favourites. The team is star studded than ever with the likes of former Manchester United Player Dimitar Berbatov and Ian Hume coming back his home. C.K.Vineeth on the right wing,Berbatov on the left and Ian Hume as the Striker. Wow,this is what I call as a Fire-Combo.
But Predictions does not stand much of a chance here. This is Football. Anything can happen in the 90min’s. And moreover ,much more can happen in the 90+ minutes. Thats what,the Indian El-Classico teaches us about Football.
Interesting News Group wishes all of the teams of this ISL Edition a very good luck and hopes for a fierceful and beautiful piece of Football this Year. Let’s Football India