2018-19 Indian Super League starts tonightLast updated on Sep 29, 2018, 07:28 pm
2018-19 Indian Super League kicks off today at 7:30 PM with the opening fixture between ATK and Kerala Blasters.
The ISL was started in 2013 and its main objective is to promote the sport of football in India.
After four successful seasons, this edition promises to be bigger and better, with two more teams being added to the competition.
ATK and Chennaiyin have won the league twice each
In the four ISL seasons, that have been staged, there have been only two teams which managed to take the cup home.
The inaugural and the third seasons were won by the Kolkata-based ATK when they defeated Kerala Blasters on both occasions.
Chennaiyin won the second and the fourth editions, defeating Goa and Bengaluru respectively.
What is the format of the competition?
The 10 teams participating in the league will play each other in a round-robin format twice.
After these matches are over, the top four teams qualify for the play-offs, where the first team faces the fourth and the second team faces the third in a two-legged encounter.
The two qualifying teams then play in the final.
Winners will find a spot in the AFC Cup playoffs
The All India Football Federation had proposed to the Asian Football Confederation that the winner of the ISL should be given a spot in the AFC Cup, Asian counterpart of the Europa League.
The request was granted by the AFC.
The winners of the I-League, on the other hand, book a spot for themselves in the AFC Champions League.
Marquee players: Brightest names from world football
To garner more public attention, ISL used a policy of signing marquee players for each club. These are some of the most recognized names in the world of football.
In 2018-19, we will see participation of Erik Paartalu (Australia), Tim Cahill (Australia), Matt Mills (England), Cyril Kali (France), Andrea Orlandi (Italy), Gianni Zuiverloon (Netherlands) and Diego Carlos (Brazil).
Highest scorer and highest appearances
Ian Hume is the highest scorer in the ISL, having scored 28 goals so far. He started playing for ATK and then moved to FC Pune City. He also tops the list in terms of most matches played, having appeared in 59 encounters so far.