Former French striker confirmed as Mumbai City FC’s Marquee player for the Indian Super League (ISL) Season 2
Mumbai, 9th June 2015: Mumbai City FC today announced the signing of prolific French striker Nicolas Anelka as the marquee player for the Indian Super League (ISL) Season 2. Anelka was officially the league’s fifth best player at the end of the inaugural season, where he scored twice with two assists. With this signing, Anelka will yet again bring his world class ability and experience to Mumbai City FC.
Anelka, whose illustrious career is packed with 69 international matches and nearly 500 club appearances at the top level, will continue to enrich ISL’s Mumbai franchise with his wealth of experience. With the Frenchman being Mumbai City FC’s Marquee player for the 2ndseason, football fans are confident that he will lead the team to victory in ISL Season 2, that kick-starts on October 3, 2015.
Commenting on retaining Nicolas Anelka, team owner Ranbir Kapoor said, “I am really happy to have Nicolas back for Mumbai City FC. The fact is, that he played really well for us last year, and while the plan this year is to build a smart and strong squad, it is important to retain some continuity from last season, and Nicolas plays a major role in that plan. I am really excited to have Nicolas back, and I am sure, the fans will be as well”
On returning to Mumbai City FC, Nicolas Anelka said, “I am glad to be back in Mumbai City FC again. I really enjoyed my time there last season and I can’t wait to see Mumbai, India and all you fans again. See you very soon. Let’s football!”
The former French international has honed his skills with top brass clubs including Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Juventus among others. He is among France’s most talented players to grace Indian soil during the ISL.
He has vast experience playing international matches for the Equipe Tricolore winning with France at Euro 2000, and won the Confederations Cup the following year. Showing great potential for scoring goals, the 6ft 1in player made his debut as a 16-year-old at Paris Saint Germain in February 1996. Soon, he moved to Arsenal under newly appointed manager Arsène Wenger and won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award the following season after he was Arsenal’s top scorer in the 1998–99 season with 17 Premier League goals. His first team opportunities were limited in the 1996–97 season but in the 1997–98 season, he broke into the first team, after a long-term injury to striker Ian Wright. In November 1997, Anelka scored his first goal for Arsenal in a 3–2 home win against Manchester United. Anelka was a key player in Arsenal’s “Double” win of both the Premier League and FA Cup that season. He scored the second goal in Arsenal’s 2–0 win over Newcastle United in that season’s FA Cup final. In all, he made 90 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 28 goals.
Anelka moved to Real Madrid in 1999, making 19 appearances for the team before returning to Paris Saint-Germain. He spent the end of the 2001-02 season in Liverpool, helping the team finish second in the table. After this, he signed the Manchester City team and finished as the team’s top scorer in his first two seasons.
After three seasons at City, in 2005, Anelka moved to Turkish professional football team Fenerbahçe for two seasons where he helped the team qualify for the Champions League before returning to England to join Bolton Wanderers. After two seasons there, Chelsea, where he finished the following season as the top goal scorer with 19 goals and helped the team win the FA Cup, signed the Frenchman. The next season in 2009-10, Anelka achieved the second league and FA Cup double of his career.
In 2012, Anelka got his first flavor of Asian football by playing for Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua for a year where he played a dual role of player and coach. He moved back to Europe to play with Juventus for a 6-month loan deal in 2013 following which he signed for West Bromwich Albion.