In the wake of a sensational run to the finals in the previous Indian Super League (ISL) season, Bengaluru FC ignited fervent anticipation as they embarked on the 2023-24 campaign. Their near-triumphant journey, marked by a captivating comeback in the latter half of the season, instilled high hopes among fans and pundits alike for the new season. With head coach Simon Grayson steering the ship, Bengaluru FC aimed to replicate their last season’s success where they reached three finals, clinching the Durand Cup while falling short in the Super Cup.

Despite basking in the glow of their Durand Cup victory, Bengaluru FC faced a significant challenge as they bid farewell to key players like Roy Krishna, Sandesh Jhingan, Udanta Singh, and Prabir Das during the summer transfer window. However, the club swiftly moved to fortify their squad, securing the services of Curtis Main, Slavko Damjanovic, Keziah Veendorp, and Ryan Williams.

Yet, the season unfolded as a series of trials and tribulations for Bengaluru FC, as they grappled to find their footing. Despite mid-season reinforcements and a change in leadership, they couldn’t sustain momentum, resulting in a disheartening exit from the playoffs. Ultimately, Bengaluru FC's campaign culminated in a disappointing 10th-place finish, marking their lowest standing since their inception into the league in 2017.


Pl: 22; W: 5; L: 10; D: 7; Pts: 22; GF: 20; GA: 34

Bengaluru FC kicked off their season on a sour note, succumbing to consecutive defeats against Kerala Blasters FC and Mohun Bagan Super Giant in challenging away encounters. However, they swiftly reclaimed their stride with a triumphant return to their home turf, securing a vital victory against East Bengal FC.

Regrettably, their winning momentum proved fleeting as the Blues encountered a frustrating drought, enduring a seven-game stretch devoid of victories. The nadir of this barren spell arrived in the form of a resounding 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Mumbai City FC at the revered Sree Kanteerava Stadium, signalling the end of Simon Grayson's tenure at the helm before a defeat to Chennaiyin FC away from home. 

In the wake of Grayson's departure, Bengaluru FC sought a new direction, appointing Gerard Zaragoza as head coach in December. The Spaniard wasted no time in implementing a fresh tactical approach, emphasising an attacking ethos with possession-based football - a stark departure from Grayson's philosophy.

Zaragoza's reign commenced on a promising note, clinching a victory in his inaugural match in charge. However, the club grappled with inconsistency, particularly on their travels, as they struggled to replicate their home form away from familiar surroundings. This inability to secure points on the road significantly hampered their aspirations for a coveted playoff berth.


Under Zaragoza's leadership, Bengaluru FC notably fortified their fortress at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, showcasing formidable resilience on home turf that made them a daunting prospect for visiting teams. Despite a solitary 4-0 setback against Mohun Bagan SG - the Blues demonstrated remarkable solidity, suffering just one defeat in seven home fixtures under Zaragoza's tenure. This commendable streak included four victories, highlighting their comfort on home turn.

Equally noteworthy was the discernible shift in the club's playing style, characterised by a more assertive and enterprising approach under Zaragoza. Bengaluru FC endeavoured to play attacking football despite encountering challenges in converting their proactive play into tangible results. Nonetheless, the concerted effort to leverage their strengths marked a positive evolution for the team under Zaragoza.


Despite Bengaluru FC's commendable performances at home under Zaragoza's guidance, their inability to replicate that success on the road proved detrimental to their playoff aspirations. While the team showcased resilience and determination in front of their home supporters, their away form remained a glaring Achilles' heel throughout the season.

Despite managing to secure four wins under Zaragoza's leadership, Bengaluru FC struggled to improve their away record under the Spaniard's tenure. Their travels were marred by inconsistency and disappointment, culminating in four defeats out of five matches, ultimately leaving them without a single away victory for the entire season.

Compounding their woes was a palpable lack of potency in attack, as Bengaluru FC grappled with a dearth of creative spark and scoring opportunities. The club registered a meagre tally of 20 goals, the second lowest in the league after Hyderabad FC.. This deficiency stemmed from a stark shortage of chances created, with Bengaluru FC registering just 188 chances across 22 league fixtures, ranking them third lowest in this regard across the league.

Best Player 

Javi Hernandez 

Despite enduring a season below his usual standards, Hernandez emerged as a pivotal figure for Bengaluru FC, exerting a significant influence on the team. Despite his struggles, the Spaniard showcased glimpses of his quality by notching crucial goals at pivotal junctures.

Remarkably, Hernandez concluded the season as the club's joint-top scorer alongside Sunil Chhetri. Furthermore, he created the most chances for the team. 

Of particular note were Hernandez's contributions under Zaragoza, where he demonstrated a knack for scoring crucial goals. Out of his five goals for Bengaluru FC, three were scored under Zaragoza's tenure, coinciding with favourable outcomes for the team. Notably, two of his goals proved to be match-winners, showcasing his ability to tilt the scales in Bengaluru FC's favour when it mattered most. 

Best young player 

Shivaldo Singh 

Promoted from the reserve team to the first team for the 2023-24 season, the emergence of 19-year-old Singh marked a bright spot amidst Bengaluru FC's challenging campaign. Despite making his debut in their defeat to Mumbai City FC, Singh swiftly asserted his presence in the midfield, gradually evolving into a key figure for the team under Zaragoza.

As the season unfolded, Singh showcased his burgeoning talent and maturity, earning valuable minutes on the pitch. His breakthrough moment arrived with his first ISL goal against FC Goa, which came away from home.

By the season's conclusion, Singh had notched a goal and an assist across 12 appearances despite amassing a commendable 509 minutes of playing time.

What do they need next season? 

With Bengaluru FC witnessing goalscoring woes and a lack of creativity in the previous season, reinforcing their attacking arsenal stands as a pressing priority. Both their foreign and domestic attackers endured difficulties in finding the back of the net, underscoring the need for enhanced competition and depth in the forward line. 

The club must also prioritise recruiting midfielders who can inject flair and dynamism into the team, complementing Zaragoza's attacking and possession-based football philosophy. By mitigating the creative burden from Hernandez and diversifying their attacking options, Bengaluru FC will be hoping to reestablish them as a formidable force that they once were.