Chennaiyin FC

Full name Chennaiyin Football Club
Nickname(s) Marina Machans
Blue Devils
Founded 2014 (2014)
Ground Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai
Ground Capacity 45,000
Owner Abhishek Bachchan
Vita Dani
M S Dhoni
Manager Marco Materazzi
League Indian Super League
2015 Regular season: 3rd
Finals: Champions
Website Club home page

Chennaiyin FC is an Indian professional football franchise based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu which competes in the Indian Super League. The club began to play in October 2014 during the inaugural season of the Indian Super League. They are the reigning champions of the Indian Super League, after winning the title in 2015. Home of Golden Boot winners.

The franchise is owned by Vita Dani, Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan and Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni.[1] Its manager is Italian World Cup-winning defender Marco Materazzi and former Liverpool, Roma left back John Arne Riise is the marquee player. The team's name Chennaiyin FC means Chennai's football club in Tamil where the 'yin' suffix is similar to Apostrophe s in English.[2] The team's logo is the Dhrishti Bommai, a representation of chasing negativity and preserving positivity in the Tamil culture.[3]


When the Indian Super League was founded in 2014, the city of Chennai was one of the nine proposed cities up for franchise bidding.[4] However, on 11 April 2014 it was reported that Chennai's main bidder, a consortium led by Sunil Gavaskar would drop out due to commitments with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.[5] Then, in August 2014, with two months before the 2014 ISL season, the Bangalore owners Sun Group dropped out due to disputes with the organizers.[6] Initially reports came out that the ISL organizers were looking for bidders for new owners for the Bangalore franchise before it was revealed that Ronnie Screwvala and actor Abhishek Bachchan would together bid for a Chennai team instead of a Bangalore franchise.[7] Then, on 14 August 2014, it was reported that ISL officials were inspecting the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai for the proposed team.[8]

Finally, the team was bid for by actor Abhishek Bachchan & Vita Dani, belonging to the Asian Paints family, who eventually became the co-owners of the team. On 12 September 2014, Italian World Cup winner Marco Materazzi was hired as player-manager.[9] Then, on 6 October 2014, the Indian cricket captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the joint co-owner of the club along with Vita Dani & Abhishek Bachchan. The club officially launched their jersey in the presence of co-owners Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani at a press conference on 9 October 2014. They also announced that Ozone Group, a prominent real estate developer, would be their principal sponsor for the season.[10]


Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium
The Marina Arena
Address India
Location Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Owner Government of Tamil Nadu
Capacity 38,000
Chennaiyin FC
Tamil Nadu football team

Chennayin FC play their home matches at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai nicknamed the Marina Arena. It is a multipurpose stadium and has a capacity of 38,000.[11] It hosts football, and athletic competitions. The stadium is located at Sydenhams Road, Park Town behind the Chennai Central suburban Railway station and Ripon Building. The stadium is named after Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister and earlier hosted cricket Test Matches between 1956 and 1965.[12]


The sports fans of Chennai have been prominently labeled as the 'Knowledgeable Chennai crowd' for some incredible sporting behaviors in the recent past. Chennayin FC has managed to consistently pull in crowds averaging around 22,000 every season, the 3rd highest in the league. The supporters of the club are nicknamed as 'SuperMachans'.

The supporters club B-Stand Blues based in the Block B of the stadium are the club's vocal support at the Marina Arena.[13][14] The fan group have been acknowledged by the players on several occasions both on and off the pitch.[15]


2014 season

On 15 October 2014, Chennaiyin won their first Indian Super League fixture with a 21 victory at FC Goa. The goals were scored by Balwant Singh, who became the first Indian player to score in the competition, and the former Brazil international Elano, who was the first marquee player to score.[16] On 28 November 2014, the club brought Alessandro Nesta, who won the World Cup for Italy alongside Materazzi, out of retirement.[17] The team finished its 14-game regular season in first place in the league.

In the semi finals, the team lost the first leg 3-0 to Kerala Blasters. In the second leg on 16 December 2014 they managed to overturn the deficit by leading 3-0 in regular time. However, in extra time a 117th-minute goal by Stephen Pearson sent Kerala through to the finals.

2015 season

For the second season of Indian Super League, they managed to retain six players namely, Balwant Singh, Jayesh Rane, Dhanachandra Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Harmanjot Khabra and Abhishek Das.[18] They also signed Godwin Franco and Mehrajuddin Wadoo. They were last in November, but made a comeback with six consecutive victories. They won the second season of the ISL by beating FC Goa 3-2 in the finals.

2016 season

For the third season of Indian Super League, they managed to retain six players namely, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Jayesh Rane, Dhanachandra Singh, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Harmanjot Khabra, Thoi Singh and Abhishek Das.[19]

Players and staff

Current squad

As of 18 September 2016.[20]

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

No. Position Player
1 India GK Karanjit Singh
2 Brazil DF Éder
3 India DF Nallappan Mohanraj
4 Netherlands MF Hans Mulder (3rd captain)
5 France DF Bernard Mendy (captain)
6 Norway DF John Arne Riise
7 India MF Harmanjot Khabra
8 Italy MF Manuele Blasi
9 Italy FW Davide Succi
10 India FW Jayesh Rane
11 India MF Thoi Singh
12 India FW Jeje Lalpekhlua
13 Brazil DF Eli Sabiá
15 India DF Abhishek Das
No. Position Player
16 India FW Daniel Lalhlimpuia
17 India MF Dhanpal Ganesh
18 India MF Siam Hanghal
19 Brazil MF Raphael Augusto
20 Italy FW Maurizio Peluso
21 India FW Uttam Rai
22 India MF Zakeer Mundampara
25 India DF Dhanachandra Singh
26 India DF Mehrajuddin Wadoo (vice captain)
27 Jamaica GK Duwayne Kerr
28 India GK Pawan Kumar
33 India FW Baljit Sahni
42 India MF Anirudh Thapa
43 India DF Jerry Lalrinzuala
99 Nigeria FW Dudu Omagbemi

Technical staff

Position Name
Head coach Italy Marco Materazzi
Performance Analyst Italy Franco Pasqualetti
Assistant coach India Syed Sabir Pasha
Goalkeeping coach Italy Francesco Franzese
Consultant India Pratham Basu
Physiotherapist India Manoj Muthu

Team records


As of 2 December 2016
Year ISL Regular season Finals Top Scorer(s)
P W D L GF GA Pts Pos. Player(s) Goals
2014 14 6 5 3 24 20 23 1st Semi-finals Brazil Elano 8
2015 14 7 1 6 25 15 22 3rd Champions Colombia Stiven Mendoza 13
2016 14 3 6 5 20 25 15 7th DNQ Nigeria Dudu Omagbemi 5

Head Coach's Record

As of 2 December 2016
Marco Materazzi  Italy 21 September 2014 Present 47 19 12 16 79 68 40.43

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

Period Kit Manufacturer Shirt Sponsor
2014-2015 TYKA Ozone Group
2016– Puma TVS Tyres


  1. "Dhoni becomes ISL team Chennaiyin FC co-owner". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  2. "Chennayin logo revealed". Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  3. Sudarshan, N. (5 October 2014). "Chennaiyin Football gets Italian seasoning". The Hindu. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  4. "Business giants join forces to launch Indian Super League". Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  5. "Chennai unlikely to have an ISL team". Times of India. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  6. Mergulhao, Marcus. "Now, Sun Group opts out of Indian Super League". Times of India. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  7. Suchindran, Aravind. "Screwvala, Abhishek may bid for Chennai franchise". Times of India. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  8. Mergulhao, Marcus. "ISL: Draft for overseas players on August 21". Times of India. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  9. Suchindran, Aravind (12 September 2014). "Marco Materazzi to manage Chennai Titans". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 September 2014.
  10. "Official Jersey released". Times Of India. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  11. "Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai". Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  12. "Nehru Stadium: Test Matches". ESPN Cricinfo. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  13. "Indian Super League: They sing, they cheer, meet the B-Stand Blues as they are here to be Chennaiyin FC's 12th men -". 2016-09-10. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  14. "They promote a tifo culture for a local football team". The Hindu. 2016-11-04. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  15. "Indian Super League: Jeje thanks Chennaiyin FC's B-Stand Blues for creating a new song to his name -". 2016-09-25. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  16. Raj, Rohan (15 October 2014). "ISL: Record-breaking Chennaiyin FC romp to 2-1 win over FC Goa". India Today. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  17. Davies, Jack (28 November 2014). "Alessandro Nesta comes out of retirement to join Indian Super League side Chennaiyin". Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  18. "Retain Players of Chenniyin FC in ISL 2". Footballlens. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  19. "QUARTET RETURNS FROM LOAN FOR ISL 2016". Chennaiyin Football Club. 1 June 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  20. "First-team". Chennaiyin Football Club. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
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