Although the Indian national football team occupies a rock bottom position in FIFA rankings, the country boasts of a thriving domestic circuit, thanks to a number of quality football clubs. These football teams are stepping-stones for India's aspiring footballers, who dream of making it big at the international stage. The journey of these clubs began from Kolkata, which is considered the home of Indian football. A number of clubs originated in the pre-independent India itself, from Calcutta (the present day Kolkata). 'Calcutta FC' and Mohun Bagan Club are to name a few.
Going back to the history, Mohun Bagan became the first Indian club to break the stranglehold of British teams (based in India), over the IFA Shield. This victory gave a major shot in the arm of Indian football and heralded the emergence of other football clubs in different corners of the country. The East Bengal clubs is one of the recent clubs in India, which has registered enviable record both in India and abroad. In 1996, the AIFF started the National Football League to give a fillip to club-level competition in the country. In order to grab the top NFL honors, Indian clubs have invested heavily on overseas players and coaches.