Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri went for the highest bid of Rs 1.20 crore in the inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) auction in Mumbai on Friday. Chhetri will play for Mumbai City FC in the 2015 ISL after missing the first season while his I-league team Bengaluru FC refused to release players.
Earlier, Chhetri’s team-mate at Bengaluru FC, Eugeneson Lyngdoh had become ISL’s first millionaire when he went under the hammer for Rs 1.5 crores, bought by Pune FC. Lyngdoh had a base price of Rs 27 lakh. However, it wasn’t long before that Chhetri took the highest price in the auction.
The third-highest expensive player proved to be Indian defender Rino Anto, who was purchased by defending champions Atletico de Kolkata for Rs 90 lakh after starting at a base price of just 17 lakh.
A total of Rs. 7.22 crores was spent on the ten players in the auction, all of whom were bought. FC Goa and Kerala Blasters were the only teams who did not purchase even a single player.
Four-time AIFF Player of the Year and India’s leading goal-scorer Chhetri, despite starting at a base price of Rs 80 lakh, did not see any bidding war and was bought by Mumbai for a relatively low price of Rs. 1.20 crore, to which even team co-owner Ranbir Kapoor expressed surprise.
All the ten players listed in the auction had missed the opening season of ISL last year because of them having signed individual contracts with respective I-League clubs. The second season of the much-successful ISL will take place from October 3 to December 6.