Started in 1941, the Santosh Trophy, named after the then president of Indian Football Association, Sir Manmatha Nath Roy Chowdhary of Santosh, is the Indian National State Trophy awarded in football amongst the best of the contending teams. The tournament features an all out fierce contest amongst the regional state associations and governmental institutions operating with All India Football Federation or the AIFF, which is the governing body of the sport in India.
The 73rd season of Santosh Trophy concluded with the Services claiming the title of victors for the sixth time and making their tenth appearance in the finals of the tournament. Here’s a review of the most riveting plays of the Santosh Trophy’s 2019 season.
The Services Football Team
The Services Football Team represents the Indian Defence Services in the tournament for the Santosh Trophy.
Demonstrating their formidable skills with the football, the Services football team displayed their remarkable demeanor and with grit and determination, claimed the Santosh Trophy for themselves after a fierce clash with Punjab at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, Punjab on April 21. This makes for the 10th appearance of the Services in the Santosh Trophy and sixth victory in the history of the tournament.
The Services claimed the title for themselves for the first time in the 1960-61 tournament with a mimetic 1-0 victory (as is their latest vs Punjab in 2019). Since then, the Services have won the tournament in the years 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
Punjab Football Team
The Punjab Football team remained a force to be reckoned with throughout the tournament, and not just against the Services in the finals. The Punjab Football team, additionally, also is set to have 4 of their players in the United Punjab Football Club, including Rohit Jhamat, Gurpreet Singh, Baldeep Singh and Sukhjit Singh.
This fearsome lineup has been the recipient of the Santosh Trophy 8 times and have represented the state of Punjab about 14 times in the tournament.
Kerala Football Team
Hailing from the southern, enchanting segment of the Indian Subcontinent are the players representing the Kerala Football Team. The Kerala Football Team has represented their state in the finals about 13 times and taken the trophy home about 6 times.
Kerala were the defending Santosh Trophy champions in the year 2018, defeating West Bengal football team in the finals in a breathtaking penalty shootout (4-2) on April 1, 2018 at the Salt Lake Stadium situated in Kolkata. Kerala remained sturdy throughout the tournament, not losing any games on their way to the finals.
West Bengal Football Team
The giants of the Santosh Trophy with history boasting of their achievements, the West Bengal has a spectacular record of representing the state of West Bengal in the finals of the Santosh Trophy 43 times and having won it a whopping 31 times, the most of any team in the history of the Santosh Trophy tournaments.
The West Bengal team is truly a force to be reckoned with when competing against the Santosh Trophy.