Two-time Indian Super League semi-finalists, Mumbai City FC have had some of the best foreign players in their roster, and here we pick the best four.
Ever since the Indian Super League kicked off in 2014, many foreign stars have graced the league. Mumbai City FC have had their fair share of these high-profile names who have played in some of the best leagues around the world and some even starred at FIFA World Cups for their nations.
We take a look at some of the most famous names to don the Mumbai City FC jersey in the past six seasons:
The Swedish superstar is best remembered for his time at Arsenal where he was a key player for legendary manager, Arsene Wenger, and played a major part in winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups for the club.
Ljungberg played for Mumbai City FC in the inaugural season of the ISL, deciding to come out of retirement to turn out for the club. In fact, he was the marquee player in that season.
His time at Mumbai City FC was constantly interrupted by injuries but the sheer presence of such a player inspired the club and pleased many fans.
Global football’s most famous journeyman did include India in his travels during the latter stages of his career as he put on the Mumbai City FC jersey for two years in 2014 and 2015.
Anelka boasted the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Juventus, and Real Madrid in his CV so his pedigree was never in doubt. He proved he still had it in him though as he scored some crucial goals for the side in the first season.
He subsequently decided to stay back for another year in 2015, this time though he was made player-manager. He did not have much impact though as Mumbai finished sixth, but nevertheless had gotten the taste of a superstar amongst their ranks.
Yet another star to make his bow for Mumbai City FC in the first season of the ISL was retired German defender, Manuel Friedrich.
Friedrich had spent all of his career in the Bundesliga, playing for the likes of Werder Bremen, Mainz, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund. He was also a key part of the German back-line in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and scored a great goal in Germany’s 4-2 defeat of Argentina in the tournament.
Friedrich decided to make the move to India with Mumbai City FC in 2014 and performed decently. He played in all 14 games, scoring one goal and manned the back-four effectively.
The final name on the list is probably the best of the lot. Diego Forlan was the player of the tournament at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and his mastering of the infamous Jabulani ball was a sight to behold.
Forlan had turned out for the likes of Atletico Madrid, for whom he was a legend, Inter Milan, Manchester United and Villareal. He proved his poaching instincts in his time at Mumbai City FC, scoring a hat-trick against the Kerala Blasters.
His arrival at the club for the 2016 season seemed to spur the club on, as the Uruguayan scored five goals and made key assists as Mumbai City finished first on the league table. They had made the playoffs for the first time but his sending off in the semi-final against ATK proved costly, as they lost the game despite leading 2-1.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @ISL