NorthEast United Football Club is an Indian Super League football franchise based in Guwahati, Assam. The club claims to represent the 8 states of India known as North East India: Assam, Nagaland, Manipur,Meghalaya, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Mizoram. The team is owned and operated by Bollywood actor John Abraham. Its manager is Venezuelan César Farías and its marquee player is former Portugalinternational winger Simão Sabrosa.
In early 2014, it was announced that the All India Football Federation, the national federation for football in India, and IMG-Reliance would be accepting bids for ownership of eight of nine selected cities for the upcoming Indian Super League, an eight-team franchise league modeled along the lines of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament. On 13 April 2014, it was announced that Bollywood actor John Abraham and Shillong Lajong Football Club had won the bidding for the franchise.
On 16 July 2014, the club signed Joan Capdevila, a European Championship and World Cup winning defender with Spain, as its marquee player. He said: “India is a huge country and it should be a privilege for me to be a small part in popularising this global game here and working with the young talented footballers of North East India”.
On 19 August the club hired its first manager, New Zealander Ricki Herbert, who had represented and managed his nation at World Cups.
On 13 October 2014, the team won their first ISL match at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, Spaniard Koke scoring the only goal of the game to defeat the Kerala Blasters. The team did not make the end-of-season play-offs, finishing 8th.
For their second season, NorthEast United signed former Portugal international Simão Sabrosa as their new marquee signing. On 1 July 2015 the team announced their manager for the 2015 season, former Venezuela national coach, César Farías. Although, almost all clubs are getting training in foreign, NorthEast United has got their training in India and a successful pre-season at South Africa. Their full squad has been announced already for Indian Super League 2015.
The crest of Northeast United is featured with 8 stars at the top representing each state of North-east India. The crest is designed with red, black and white applications, with the club name written in bold letters between the main crest and the stars.