One More High-Profile Player
The Hero Indian Super League has one more high-profile player to add to its list of international stars. Nicolas Anelka, who has played for many of the top clubs in Europe, was announced today as Mumbai City FC’s latest signing.
The Frenchman adds vast experience to the Mumbai City FC squad, having played at the first-team level for nearly 20 years. Much of this time has been spent at the biggest European clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, and Juventus. He also had a successful spell at Chelsea and prolific stints at Manchester City and Bolton. Anelka achieved the Premier League and FA Cup ‘double’ at both Arsenal (1997-98) and Chelsea (2009-10), and helped Real Madrid win the 1999-00 UEFA Champions League. He has also played for English club West Bromwich Albion and even spent a short while in China, playing for Shanghai Shenhua. At the international level, Anelka has earned 69 senior caps for France, scoring 14 times and helping ‘Les Bleus’ win the 2000 UEFA European Championship.
Anelka has also garnered several personal accolades throughout his career, winning the PFA (the Professional Footballers’ Association in England) Young Player of the Year award in 1997-98 as an Arsenal player and the Premier League Golden Boot for Chelsea in 2008-09. He was in the Premier League’s Team of the Year in 1998-99 and repeated the feat ten seasons later, and was frequently the top scorer for his club, wherever he was playing.
This prolific record will bolster his new team, Mumbai City FC, and his signing further boosts the profile of the ISL. Anelka joins Alessandro Del Piero (Delhi Dynamos FC), Luis García (Atlético de Kolkata), Joan Capdevila (NorthEast United FC), David James (Kerala Blasters FC), and David Trezeguet (FC Pune City) as a celebrated and recognisable international footballer playing in India’s new league.
Commenting on his signing, Anelka said he is “pleased to join Mumbai City FC, and through it, participate in the exciting Indian Super League”. He paid tribute to his fellow star internationals and the overall quality of the league, enthusing that “talented international players and top Indian talent will make matches thrilling affairs”. The striker is looking forward to donning his new team’s colours, promising that he will be “using my ability to do well for my team in the matches we play”.
The club are equally excited with the prospect of Anelka playing for them. Team owner Ranbir Kapoor was “delighted to announce the signing”, and “thrilled that a player with a stunning pedigree such as his is part of our team.” Kapoor welcomed Anelka to the Mumbai City FC squad by saying “his abilities and experience are known the world over, and I am certain his presence will give us the firepower required upfront”.
The striker himself had a simple message for fans. He tweeted: “Are you ready, Mumbai City FC? Here I come!” Fans in India will be relishing the thought of seeing him turn out in the ISL.