Top 5 teams with most appearances in ISL playoffs history

ISL came onto the Indian footballing landscape with a bang with a promise to take Indian football to the next level promising quality and intensity of matches the Indian masses had witnessed never before. It is  safe to say there have been a lot of thrilling moments for us, fans of the Blue Tigers to bear witness. Football is a game of winners and losers and some have a really strong habits of making it to the playoffs and at times winning the whole thing time and time again. 

Over the past decade, certain franchises have consistently showcased their prowess, becoming a mainstay fixture for the coveted playoff positions. These elite teams have shown what it takes to churn out results on a consistent basis and carve out a legacy of success in the league. With an impressive track record spanning 10 seasons, they stand as the epitome of excellence in Indian football.

Today, we have prepared a list of five such highly revered teams, as we take a journey back into recalling their incredible feat.

5. Atletico de Kolkata (4 playoff qualifications, 3 ISL titles)

Atletico de Kolkata (4 playoff qualifications, 3 ISL titles)
Credit - ISL Official

The first-ever ISL champions, and still the team with the most ISL titles, Atletico de Kolkata, in its original avatar, was and always will be a team that holds and will continue to hold a special hear amongst the OG ISL followers. Kolkata has always been a hotbed of Indian football, and ATK was the perfect ode the commemorate the passionate people of Kolkata have for football. 

ATK qualified for the playoffs on four different occasions, out of which they won the competition thrice, before entering into a merger with Mohun Bagan in 2020. 

4. Kerala Blasters FC (5 playoff qualifications, 0 ISL titles)

Kerala Blasters FC (5 playoff qualifications, 0 ISL titles)
Credit - ISL Official

The Yellow army has forever been a force to reckon with in the ISL. Right from the time of its formation back in 2014, the club has given its fans plenty of unforgettable and joyous moments. The Tuskers can proudly say they boast one of the most loyal and passionate fan bases not just in India, but in all of Asia.

Kerala Blasters have qualified for the playoffs on five different occasions, with their latest qualification coming in this edition, where under the guidance of Ivan Vukamanovic, Kerala have exceeded all expectations by doing so well amidst all of their injury crisis.  

3. Mumbai City FC (5 playoff qualifications, 2 ISL title)

Mumbai City FC (5 playoff qualifications, 2 ISL title)
Credit - ISL Official

Mumbai City FC are one of the founding members of the ISL and despite the early head start they took some time to set their foot in the league, finishing seventh and sixth in the two initial seasons. On 28 November 2019, it was revealed that City Football Group, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi United Group, had bought a 65% stake in the club, adding Mumbai City FC as the eighth club under the CFG.

Since then, Mumbai City FC has only gone from strength to strength and one of the most consistent sides in the ISL. In the 2020-21 season, their first full campaign under the CFG, Mumbai City FC did the league double, by winning both the Shield as well as the Trophy. The Islanders were crowned champions yet again in 2022-23. In the ongoing season, Mumbai City FC have broken the record for the most points accumulated in a single ISL campaign, and have clinched the cup from MBSG this time around even though they lost out on the shield to the latter by only a solitary point.

2. Chennaiyin FC (5 playoff qualifications, 2 ISL titles)

Chennaiyin FC (5 playoff qualifications, 2 ISL titles)
Credit - ISL Official

After a dramatic end to their 2023-24 league stages, that saw the Marina Machans rise from the depth of ruins, Chennaiyin FC have forced their way into this prestigious list. After a terrible start to the season, the club found itself 10th on the table after 13 games and were in terrible form. But in vintage Owen Coyle fashion who  has been a more than decent premier league in his own right and full credits to him , the Blues turned their fortunes around, picking 15 points in the next eight fixtures to book a place in the playoffs.

The other four qualifications came in 2014, 2015, 2017-18 and 2019-20, respectively. Chennaiyin FC have also won the ISL title on two occasions, the first in 2015 against Goa at the Fatorda, and then against Bengaluru in 2017-18. 

1 . FC Goa (7 playoff qualifications, 1 Shield)

FC Goa (7 playoff qualifications, 1 Shield)
Credit - ISL Official

A decade of ISL football is a very long time , if there has been one team that has consistently managed to brighten up the faces of their supporters and have given joy and happiness to not only its fans but the entire footballing fraternity, it is FC Goa. The team in orange has forever been the most fierce and entertaining side in ISL history right from the days of the legendary Zico and have kept that fun Goan vibe till date. They are still known for their unique style of play, and for nurturing some of the biggest talents this league has ever seen. 

Having gained seven qualifications in 10 seasons shows how consistent Goa have been, and how well the management has operated in enabling a smooth transition at the club. They qualified for the playoffs in 2014, 2015, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2023-24. Despite having never won the ISL title or Trophy to be precise, the Gaurs won the first-ever ISL Shield in the 2019-20 season. 

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