Many expected it to fizz out, many thought it could never take off in a cricket frenzy nation; but contrary to all those obstacles, the ISL has made a mark on the sporting world in India. So what are the positives that India can take from this mega tournament?
The main positive for the sponsors and even for the people running Indian football is the enthusiasm of the fans towards the tournament. There has been a general buzz surrounding every game and audiences have turned out in large numbers to support their team in every match.
Without the fans, there would be no future for ISL.
Since the tournament has really clicked, the organization has also improved at the grass root levels. All the stadiums hosting the matches were made ready and hold world facilities which can only be benefitting for the Indian players in the future.
Inadequate training facilities have long been the Achilles heel for football in India, with proper fitness issues not being addressed.
These problems seemed to have been eradicated with the ISL, as each franchise now has the funding required to access world class facilities.
The ISL most importantly has helped unearth hidden gems in the Indian football world and has given them a platform to showcase their talents.
The names of Calvin Lobo, Rehenesh TP immediately spring to mind among players who have had a good tournament.
In the goalkeeping department, the Indians have ruled between the sticks, as the top five players for clean sheets includes three Indians.
Subrata Paul has shown his worth and leads the pack with six clean sheets
Although the Indian forwards have misfired, things only look bright for the Indian contingent towards the next few years in the ISL. They have the potential to really go on and make a name for themselves on this fantastic platform.
The marquee players will also have a huge say in the future development of Indian football stars. By playing alongside Del Piero, Anelka, Matterazi, Pires, etc., Indian players have had a chance to learn from the very best.
Their experience on how to perform on the biggest stages will be priceless to the budding Indian players who can look up to them for inspiration.
Since the ISL has been such a huge success, a greater number of kids can now aspire to have a successful career in the football field. Sporting careers earlier could only be imagined in cricket, but now even football has made a long lasting impression on the youth of the country.
The future success of the ISL holds the key for further grass root development and better training facilities to herald the future stars of Indian football.
ISL has also struck a chord globally. Many people abroad have noticed the growth and popularity of the tournament and in the future may want to invest in the Indian football market. This can go a long way in appeasing the growing concerns about the lack of infrastructure for the sport.
If the tournament grows to the stage of being a world class competition, one can expect better and bigger things for the development of the sport in the country.
The recent example of the above fact being that Arsenal reportedly considering a plan to play two matches in India next year against the Mumbai and Goa teams.
If this impact of the ISL on the global market in the first year, one can expect big things from Indian football over the next decade.
Since the ISL has also attracted the glamour world, increased investment in the future would not be a surprise. Before the ISL, the future of football in India looked increasingly bleak. The ISL was perhaps just thought as the light at the end of the tunnel.
Reaching towards the end of the mega tournament, there is now renowned hope that football may just be given a chance. If this is just the beginning, the future of Indian football does indeed look promising.