Settling in the role of a centre forward for Jorge Costa’s Mumbai City FC, Tunisian striker Amine Chermiti is enjoying his early days in the Indian Super League.

With an ample of experience gathered over a glittering career in Europe and Africa, Chermiti propelled Mumbai to a 1-0 victory over Kerala Blasters in their opening match. Signing up with the franchise in the 2019-20 season, the 31-year-old has been showering praise over the professional state of affairs in the league and has compared ISL to leagues across Europe. 

Chermiti’s presence in the Mumbai squad is yet another sign of a masterstroke from Costa who has been pivotal in introducing Mumbai City to the innate talent of foreign players.

Mumbai have always fielded a plethora of foreign strikers ranging from Diego Forlan to Nicolas Anelka and Chermiti seems to be following suit in the footsteps of these great football players. His partnership with Moudou Sougou in the initial stages of the ongoing season has been a huge relief for Costa.

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Taking his first steps towards a better career with the Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel in 2006, Chermiti played an instrumental role in securing the African Champions League title for Etoile in 2007. The clinical striker starred in the tournament by netting eight goals which included a winning goal in a two-legged final against the Egyptian club Al Ahly. For his match-winning performances, Chermiti was also felicitated with the CAF African-based Player of the Year award in 2007.

His triumphant exploits in his home nation paved the way for offers from Europe. Lucien Favre, the current manager of Borussia Dortmund, brought him over to Germany and Chermiti ended up signing for Hertha Berlin in 2008. Although, the hype was only short-lived as two injury-prone seasons saw him make his move to FC Zurich in 2010.

It was however in Switzerland that Chermiti cranked it up a notch and became an instrumental part of the club, scoring 30 goals in his 110 appearances. During his five years in Zurich, Chermiti played in the UEFA Europa League, gaining widespread experience of going toe to toe with some of the world’s best.    

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After leaving Zurich in 2015, Chermiti also had the privilege of playing in the domestic leagues of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Having a player with the experience of playing in multiple leagues across the globe is precisely what Mumbai City have been searching for. After his debut match in the ISL against Kerala, Chermiti expressed his happiness with the squad and his intent of lifting the title with Mumbai.

“Every match is like a cup game. We must give our best to win all three points.” This post-match statement by the Tunisian will ring across the upper echelons of the ISL as it surely abides by Jorge Costa’s policy of hitting back whenever your team is down and out. Let’s hope there are goals aplenty from the foot of Chermiti in the ISL.

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Feature image courtesy: AFP/ Fabrice Coffrini