These names are loved and respected by the Blues’ fans.
Since their inception in 2013, Bengaluru FC have had several stellar names – both domestic and international – playing for them.
While the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Amrinder Singh and Sandesh Jhingan are some of the prominent Indian names to have graced the fabled blue jersey, Miku, John Johnson, and Erik Paartalu and so on are among the best imports.
Their performances have taken the club to dizzying heights and have brought enormous success to the club, so much so that fans enamour them. However, when its comes to being favourites among the faithful, some players rank above everyone else at the club.
On that note, Khel Now takes a look at the top five all-time fan-favourites at Bengaluru FC:
5. Rahul Bheke
After struggling to find a permanent address, Rahul Bheke seems to have found a true home at the Karnataka outfit. Since arriving at Bengaluru FC in 2017, he’s gone from strength to strength, establishing himself as a key figure in the squad and becoming one among the fan-favourites too.
Predominantly a right-back, Bheke has the versatility to play anywhere in the backline and has been a formidable force too, giving the meanest strikers a serious run for their money. The defining moment of his BFC career so far was the extra-time header against FC Goa in the final of the 2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL) season, which clinched their first and only title.
4. Dimas Delgado
Bengaluru FC have had some talented Spanish players in their squad over the years. One of them is Dimas Delgado, a midfielder who has been at the heart of their midfield for the past four years. At 38 years of age, he’s in the twilight of his career, but shows no signs of slowing down.
It took him a while, but Delgado has established himself as one of the best deep-lying playmakers in the Indian top flight. His passing accuracy is second to none and he is a set-piece specialist. Infact, it was his corner that Rahul Bheke scored from to clinch the 2018-19 ISL title.
Delgado’s leadership skills have earned him the captain’s armband whenever Sunil Chhetri isn’t playing.
3. Erik Paartalu
Erik Paartalu has played for 14 clubs across seven different countries in his journeyed career. It includes Bengaluru FC, where he’s been plying his trade since 2017 and remains hugely popular among the fans.
The Australian was an integral part of their title-winning squad in 2019 and emerged as their most prolific creator in the next, making six assists as the Blues lost out in the semi-finals.
“Bengaluru has held a special place in my heart. Every time I leave the city, I am somehow drawn back to it,” said Paartalu when he extended his contract last year. His importance in the squad is very clear and the fans are excited to see him in Bengaluru colours.
2. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Goalkeepers are normally under-appreciated for their role in a team. But, that’s not the case for Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. He’s adored by the Bengaluru FC supporters for his flamboyant acrobatics allied with fearless reliability.
Since joining the Blues in 2017 after a spell with Norwegian outfit Stabaek, the lad from Punjab has been a fixture in the side. With 77 appearances for the club, he’s their most-capped goalkeeper of all-time. He is also the first player to win back-to-back Golden Gloves in the ISL, the first of which played a crucial role in helping Bengaluru win the title.
1. Sunil Chhetri
The face of Indian football, Sunil Chhetri has become an icon at Bengaluru FC too. The prolific striker first joined the club in 2013 and has since established himself in their folklore. With 130 appearances, he’s the most-capped player of all-time for the Blues, whilst also being their leading scorer with 68 goals.
It’s a no-brainer that he’s adored by the fans. Chhetri has consistently delivered for them and often played a starring role in big games. He has guided Bengaluru to six trophies in his tenure so far, including one ISL title in the 2018-19 season. He’s almost 37 now and in the twilight of his career, but has shown no signs of slowing down yet.