Let us take charge and start supporting Mumbai City FC.
Mumbai City Fans’ Corner(FC)-
Mumbai, the city of dreams, the city which never sleeps, the city with the best cricket team, best stadium, and best “Sachin, Sachin!” chants!
It’s sad though that out of 2.06 Crore people in Mumbai, Mumbaikars could never fill the 20,000 capacity of Andheri Sports Complex, the resplendent home of the 2020/21 ISL Champions, Mumbai City FC.
Mumbai City Football club had its foundation in 2014, as AIFF allowed Reliance to initiate the Indian Super League, which would soon become India’s primary division.
Although the club is as young as the Versova-Ghatkopar metro, the city’s love for the game isn’t. It was after 1992 that the English first division was rebranded as the English Premier League. The FA cut no cost in advertising its 20 teams and there was a worldwide boom in the consumption of English football.
That was when Indians were introduced to the weekly matches and monetary game of club football. Mumbai’s cosmopolitan culture and western influence is the reason Mumbai has Indian fan clubs supporting Manchester United in Malad, and fans of Chelsea in Chembur and Arsenal in Andheri!
Due to our high international standards, our people crib and complain about the Indian standards and lack of passion in the country. But, we’d be left chasing our own tails if we don’t take charge and start supporting Mumbai City FC.
Facts about Mumbai City FC:
• Our Logo has the club name and a train, probably our efficient and jam-packed local train without which traffic might kill you.
• We owe our nickname, “Islanders”, to the fact that Mumbai comprises of 7 islands.
• Ranbir Kapoor had invested as a co-owner of the club during its commencement.
• Our shirts had been blue since our conception, but it has been changed to a sky-blue shade after City Football Group bought majority shares of our club.
• City football Group(CFG) is a UAE sheikh owned conglomerate of Manchester City FC, Montevideo City FC, Mumbai City FC, Melbourne City FC [so many teams starting with ‘M’], and also New York City FC, Girona FC, Lommel SK, Sichuan Jiuniu and Troyes AC. It has a partnership with Bolivar and Vannes OC. CFG literally has an “outpost” in 6 continents.
• We won our first ISL in the 2020/21 after defeating ATK Mohun Bagan in the ISL Finals 1-0. Now we’re waiting to play in the Asian Champions League and excel at playing!
• After CFG’s takeover in 2019, Mumbai City has been accused of aggressive expenditure like its Manchester counterparts. Mumbai City FC post 2019 is accustomed to flexing its monetary muscle.
• This is a reason many other clubs’ fans hate Mumbai City FC.
Our pitch has been graced by high profile players like:
• Nicolas Anelka in 2014, Mumbai’s debut ISL season.
• Diego Forlan
• Manuel Friedrich
• Freddie Ljungberg
• Sunil Chhetri (2 short spells)
Our title winning Coach Lobera, a believer of Guardiola’s style, often lauded for his 4231 possession based game, left for pastures new to Melbourne City FC.
Our new coach is Des Buckingham, ex-Melbourne City coach. CFG has played a switcheroo, probably to experiment and find out the better manager. Buckingham hasn’t yet tested the waters in the ISL. He had a friendly draw versus SC East Bengal and a win versus Odisha FC and Jamshedpur FC. He hopes to build on Lobera’s philosophy.
Our transfers in the last 2 years:
Personally, another thing which makes the ISL exciting is a sort of rivalry with FC Goa. We haven’t had enough time to develop a full fledged rivalry with the ‘Gaurs’ but there has been a bit of tension with our Konkan coast rivals as we always bought what they were using or had been using, like their coach Sergio Lobera whom we signed after they sacked him; We bought two of their marquee players namely Hugo Boumous and Igor Angulo and we wish to make them our standout players now!! Our Captain this season, Mourtada Fall is also an ex- FC Goa player.
Guess which team we’re playing first this season at 7:30 PM on the 22nd of November? OFC Goa(get the pun?)!
Our squad includes-
The players I suggest to look out for-
• Mandar Rao Dessai at Left back, Mourtada Fall and homegrown Amey Ranawade at centreback
• Left wing magician Bipin Singh, who decided the ISL finals.
• Apuia Lalengamawia, the 19 year old CDM who impresses and never gives up possessions.
• Rowllin Borges and Ahmed Jahouh in the midfield.
• Igor Angulo, an excellent finisher
Anyway, hope that was a good enough introduction to the club. Let’s start supporting Mumbai City FC, Maharashtra’s representatives in ISL and on the Asian level too!
By Omkar Barve