Top 5 teams with highest performances in ISL playoff history

Top 5 teams


For the last 10 years, the Indian Super League (ISL) has been the hub of club football in India, featuring world-class talent from abroad as well as domestically. Since its inaugural season in 2014, the ISL has evolved into a highly competitive arena where securing a place in the playoffs is a significant achievement for any team.

Over the past decade, some franchises have consistently demonstrated their strength, and have become perennial contenders for coveted playoff positions. These elite teams have demonstrated unwavering commitment and resilience while building a legacy of success in the league. With an impressive track record of 10 seasons, they stand as an epitome of excellence in Indian football.

Today, we have compiled a list of five such highly-admired teams as we go on a journey to remember their incredible exploits.

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

The first-time ISL champions, and still the team with the most ISL title wins, Atlético de Kolkata, in its own right, was and will always be a special team. Kolkata has always been the epicenter of Indian football, and ATK was the perfect fuel to light the fire among Kolkata enthusiasts.

ATK qualified for the playoffs on four separate occasions before its merger with Mohun Bagan in 2020, of which they won the competition three times.

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

Kerala Blasters have always been a relentless force in the ISL. Since its formation in 2014, the club has given many unforgettable and happy moments to its fans. Tuskers has one of the most loyal and passionate fan bases not only in India, but across Asia.

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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 performed exceptionally well amid all their injury woes.

3 Mumbai City FC (5 playoff qualifications, 1 ISL title)

Being one of the founding teams of the ISL, Mumbai City FC took some time to find their footing in the league, finishing seventh and sixth in their two inaugural seasons. On 28 November 2019, it was revealed that City Football Group, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi United Group, had purchased a 65% stake in the club, marking Mumbai City FC as the eighth club under CFG.

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Since then, Mumbai City FC has been a force to be reckoned with and one of the most consistent teams in the ISL. In the 2020–21 season, their first full campaign under CFG, Mumbai City FC won the league double by winning both the Shield and the trophy. The Islanders were crowned champions once again in 2022–23. In the current season, Mumbai City FC has broken the record for most points scored in an ISL campaign, and need just one point to be crowned champions of the league once again.

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

After a dramatic end to their 2023-24 league phase that saw Marina Machans rise from the depths of ruins, Chennaiyin FC have earned themselves a place in this prestigious list. After a poor start to the season, the club were 10th in the table after 13 games and were in poor form. But in old Owen Coyle fashion, the Blues turned their fortunes around, scoring 15 points in the next eight matches to book a playoff spot.

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

1 FC Goa (7 playoff qualifications, 1 Shield)

In 10 years of ISL football, if there has been one team that has consistently given joy and happiness to not only its fans but the entire football community, it has been FC Goa. The team in orange has always been one of the most fiery and entertaining teams in ISL history, known for their unique playing style, and boasting some of the greatest talent the league has ever seen.

Achieving seven qualifications in 10 seasons shows how consistent Goa have been, and how well the management has done 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 never winning an ISL title or trophy, the Gaurs won the ISL Shield for the first time in the 2019–20 season.

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