More Indian players have stepped into leadership roles at ISL clubs, when compared to last season.

The brand-new, 2021-22 season of the Indian Super League (ISL) season is already upon us. Bengaluru FC and ATK Mohun Bagan won their opening games against NorthEast United and Kerala Blasters respectively, while SC East Bengal and Jamshedpur FC shared the points on Sunday.

All the ISL clubs have already appointed their captains and vice-captains for the 2021-22 season. On that note, here is a quick look at the players who will be leading out their respective teams, in order of their positions on the ISL 2020-21 standings.

Mumbai City FC

Captain: Mourtada Fall

The champions will be led out by Senegalese defender Mourtada Fall. The former FC Goa star joined Mumbai City before the beginning of last season and was an integral part of the squad that won both the League Winners’ Shield and the title. The defender would be looking to lead his team into yet another successful season.

Vice-Captain: Rowllin Borges

Fall’s deputy in the squad will be Indian midfielder Rowllin Borges. The midfielder joined Mumbai City back in 2019 and this will be his third season with the Islanders. Yet another integral member of the title winning squad of last season, Borges too will be looking to repeat their success from last season.

ATK Mohun Bagan

Captains: Pritam Kotal, Roy Krishna

ATK Mohun Bagan handed their leadership responsibility to a local lad in Pritam Kotal.  The right-back has been a long time disciple of head coach Antonio Habas. A member of the ATK squad before the merger with Mohun Bagan, he was retained by Habas last season when ATK Mohun Bagan was formed. The former Delhi Dynamos defender made 22 appearances for the Mariners in ISL 2020-21.

Helping Kotal in leading the team in ISL 2021-22 is the Mariners’ star forward Roy Krishna. The Fijian arrived in Kolkata back in 2019, when he signed for ATK. He was retained after the merger and the upcoming season will be his third season in the ISL.

NorthEast United

Captain: Subhasish Roy Chowdhury

The Highlanders will be led by veteran goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury. The stopper has been with NorthEast since the start of the 2019-20 season and has since made 30 appearances for the club. The veteran can provide the young squad of NorthEast with much-needed guidance and experience.

FC Goa

Captains: Edu Bedia, Ivan Gonzalez, Brandon Fernandes, Seriton Fernandes

Edu Bedia is one of the longest serving member of the FC Goa squad.  The Spaniard stayed even when most of his teammates jumped ship to Mumbai City before the start of last season. His loyalty earned him the captain’s armband as he prepares to lead the Gaurs for the upcoming season.

Ivan Gonzalez joined FC Goa before the beginning of last season. The defender made 19 appearances for the club last season and has been given the responsibility of leading the club in the upcoming season.

FC Goa also have two Indian skippers in Brandon and Seriton. The duo have been a part of the Gaurs’ set-up for a long time and are arguably the senior-most domestic players in the side. They are also two of the club’s best players, hence the decision to make them captains isn’t surprising at all.

Hyderabad FC

Captains: Joao Victor, Laxmikant Kattimani, Bartholomew Ogbeche

Last year’s vice captain, Joao Victor has been promoted to the captain’s position for this season. He takes his role from Aridane Santana. The Brazilian joined the club back in 2020 and has since made 17 appearances for the club.

Hyderabad FC has listed out two more captains for the upcoming season. After Victor, comes goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani. The stopper joined the club in 2019 and has made 20 appearances since. The former FC Goa man will take over when Joao Victor is not on the field.

The third captain in the Hyderabad hierarchy is new signing Bartholomew Ogbeche. The forward has joined from Mumbai City FC ahead of this season and has been directly included in the list of captains.

Jamshedpur FC

Captain: Peter Hartley

The Men Of Steel retained their captain from last season after his heroic performances in the heart of their defencee. The former Sunderland defender will carry on with the captain’s armband as he looks to lead his team to a first ever playoff finish in ISL 2021-22.

Bengaluru FC

Captain: Sunil Chhetri

Bengaluru FC will continue with their ‘captain fantastic’ for yet another season. The striker has been with the club since its inception back in 2013 and has made 203 appearances. Last season is the only season where Bengaluru failed to qualify for the playoffs since joining the ISL. The 37-year old will try to rectify that this time out as he prepares to lead his team for a new ISL campaign.

Chennaiyin FC

Captain: Anirudh Thapa

23-year-old midfielder Anirudh Thapa takes on the reigns of Chennaiyin FC as he is announced as the new captain of the club in the upcoming season. The midfielder signed for the club back in 2016. Anirudh has made 69 appearances for the club and has also won the ISL title with the Marina Machans.

SC East Bengal

Captain: Arindam Bhattacharya

SC East Bengal handed the responsibility of the armband to new signing Arindam Bhattacharya. The goalkeeper arrived from rivals ATK Mohun Bagan in the recent transfer window.  Arindam won the golden glove award last season after keeping 10 clean sheets so it won’t be unwise to say that East Bengal’s captaincy is in safe hands.

Vice Captain: Tomislav Mrcela

Captain Arindam will be deputised by another new signing Tomislav Mrcela. The Australian defender will be coming in with a wealth of experience. The East Bengal management must have had that experience in their minds while handing him that responsibility.

Kerala Blasters

Captain: Jessel Carneiro

Jessel Carneiro will continue as captain in ISL 2021-22, after performing in the same capacity last season. The left-back joined the club ahead of the 2019-20 season and has made 34 appearances for the Yellow Army since. Last season, KBFC had three captains but this time, Jessel will be their only leader.

Odisha FC

Captain: Vinit Rai, Hector Rodas, Victor Mongil

Odisha FC has appointed Indian midfielder Vinit Rai to lead them into the upcoming season. After Odisha’s dismal performance the last time out the club has gone through many changes both on and off the pitch. The 24-year old joined Delhi Dynamos in 2017 and has remained even after the rebranding, making 62 appearances for the club.

Hector Rodas and Victor Mongil are new signings. Both of their defenders and hail from Spain. Mongil has previously played in the ISL – with ATK FC in the 2019-20 season. Both Spaniards will look to lead the Odisha FC defence, and would want to do better than last time when the side conceded 44 goals in just 20 games.

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