2021 is slowly drawing to a close, and was very eventful for football fans in India. In this article, we’re taking a look back at the year gone by and the top ten iconic moments that took place.
- 1 Top 10 most memorable moments in Indian football in 2021
- 2 10. Sandesh Jhingan’s move to HNK Sibenik
- 3 9. ISL’s inclusion in FIFA 22
- 4 8. Khalid Jamil became first Indian head coach in ISL
- 5 7. Juan Ferrando’s mid-season move to ATK Mohun Bagan
- 6 6. East Bengal’s 8-game winless run
- 7 5. Gokulam Kerala in AFC Women’s Club Championship 2021
- 8 4. Mumbai City FC win the double
- 9 3. India’s 2021 SAFF Championship win
- 10 2. FC Goa’s appearance in 2021 AFC Champions League
- 11 1. Sunil Chhetri’s Khel Ratna
Top 10 most memorable moments in Indian football in 2021
10. Sandesh Jhingan’s move to HNK Sibenik
There were rumours that Jhingan was attracting interest from a European club, and those came true. The Indian centre-back made the move to Croatian club HNK Sibenik in the top flight of the country and is one of the few elite Indians to play in Europe.
9. ISL’s inclusion in FIFA 22
FIFA is the world’s most popular gaming franchise, and the ISL was included in the latest edition of the game. Thousands of players across the world now have access to the teams of the league.
8. Khalid Jamil became first Indian head coach in ISL
The NorthEast United head coach is the first Indian to ever take charge in the ISL, after eight years of the league. His team are currently ninth in the table.
7. Juan Ferrando’s mid-season move to ATK Mohun Bagan
The FC Goa head coach made an unexpected move to ATK Mohun Bagan following the departure of Antonio Habas. The release clause was activated without any notice, which only adds to the surprising nature of the move.
6. East Bengal’s 8-game winless run
East Bengal have had a very poor start to the 2021/22 season, and have failed to win a single game out of eight played so far. The Red and Gold club have now parted ways with Jose Manuel Diaz as a result of their lacklustre form.
5. Gokulam Kerala in AFC Women’s Club Championship 2021
Gokulam Kerala competed in the 2021 AFC Women’s Championship, and faced off against FC Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan, Shahrdari Sirjan FC of Iran and Amman SC of Jordan. They won one and lost two games in their continental campaign.
4. Mumbai City FC win the double
The Islanders dominated the previous season of the ISL by winning not only the league title, but also the Shield after winning the playoffs of the competition. They continue to lead the table this year, and are the favourites to win the title again.
3. India’s 2021 SAFF Championship win
The tournament was hosted in the Maldives, with the likes of Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka taking part in the competition. After a disappointing start to the Championship, the Blue Tigers ended up winning the trophy. They defeated Nepal by a 3-0 scoreline in the final.
2. FC Goa’s appearance in 2021 AFC Champions League
FC Goa participated in the group stage of the AFC Champions League, and faced off against the best teams in Asia. They locked horns with Al-Wahda, Al-Rayyan and Persepoli in the group stages and were quite impressive in the competition.
1. Sunil Chhetri’s Khel Ratna
The Indian skipper has been awarded the highest sporting honour in the country in 2021, the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award. He is the best Indian footballer ever, and continues to inspire thousands of youngsters across the country.