One of the most important dates in the Indian football calendar, the day of Kolkata Derby, returns after a prolonged break. So far a preserve of the I-League in the national format, the clash of the Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan has changed its habitat to be a part of the Indian Super League from this season.

This transformation is the result of a metamorphosis in the two teams’ ownership pattern but the change does little to dent the intensity of the rivalry that is almost a century old now. Acknowledged as the biggest and the oldest footballing rivalries in the continent, the Kolkata Derby is certainly going to be a big asset for the country’s top league in terms of popularity. Since the day the ISL dates were announced, the social media is agog with the fans of the two celebrated opponents riling over the possible outcome of the encounter.

The spirit has definitely…

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