Indian Super League, a professional football league, was founded in 2013 to make football a top sport in India. It is co-promoted by IMG-Reliance, Star India and supported by All India Football Federation (AIFF). ISL used franchise system in which eight teams were selected to participate in the League. One of them being Chennaiyin FC founded in 2014, the latest team to be inducted into the Indian Super League after the Bangalore franchise withdrew from the competition.
Chennaiyin FC is owned by Indian cricketer MS Dhoni, Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani. Marco Materazzi, former Inter Milan defender, was signed as the player-manager of Chennaiyin FC in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League. Home matches are played at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Chennai. Ozone Group, a real estate developer, is the principal sponsor for the tournament.
The team has one marquee player along with seven other foreign players from the international players’ draft and 14 Indian players from the domestic draft. Former Brazilian midfielder Elano Blumer is the marquee player for Chennaiyin FC. Bernard Mendy, Cristian Hidalgo, Gennaro Bracigliano, Bojan Djordjic, Bruno Pelissari, Jairo Suarez and Eduardo Silva Lerma were the 7 international players. The team had domestic players like NP Pradeep, Gouramangi Singh, Shilton Paul, Jeje Lalpekhlua to name a few. 21-year-old Jayesh Rane, who hails from Mumbai and plays for Mumbai FC (I-League club), is the youngest player in the team based in the city known as Detroit of India.
Chennaiyin FC won their first Indian Super League fixture with a 2–1 victory at FC Goa in 2014. The goals were scored by Balwant Singh and Elano. In the semifinals, the team lost the first leg 3-0 to Kerala Blasters.
For the 2015 season, Chennaiyin FC has retained 3 foreign players: Bruno Pelissari, Bernard Mendy, Elano Blumer and six Indian players: Abhishek Das, Dhanachandra Singh, Jayesh Rane, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Harmanjot Khabra, Balwant Singh.