Diego Forlan (Getty Images)
From the year of its inception (2014), the Indian Super League has kept its promise of bringing some of the world's biggest football stars to Indian shores. In its bid to give the Indian football fan a taste of world class action on the pitch, the ISL has managed to rope in some of the biggest names of yesteryears. The list is big and it includes World Cup winners like Alessandro Del Piero, Roberto Carlos and David Trezeguet and many more. This year is no exception and we here at News18 will give you an insight into the Top 5 marquee players to look out for this season.
DIEGO FORLAN (Mumbai City FC)
One of the finest strikers of his generation, Uruguayan Diego Forlan is the main draw in the Mumbai City FC team. Perennial strugglers Mumbai will hope that Forlan will be able to showcase his class to fire them into the semis for the first time. Forlan has had a decorated career both at the club and international level. His moment of glory came in the 2010 FIFA World Cup where he finished as the joint top scorer with 5 goals. His efforts fired Uruguay to a fourth place finish and the forward was awarded the Golden Ball after being adjudged the tournament’s best player. He also helped his national side to win the Copa America in 2011. At the club level, Forlan turned out for big names like Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan. He is also a two-time winner of the European Golden Shoe, awarded to the player with most goals in a season in European Leagues.
FLORENT MALOUDA (Delhi Dynamos)
Frenchman Florent Malouda is a known face amongst Indian football fans due to his time with popular EPL side Chelsea and will be one of the mainstays of the Delhi Dynamos team this season. Malouda, who made his ISL debut last season for the Dynamos, is also a FIFA World Cup runner-up. He was part of the team that lost to Italy in the final in 2006. Malouda, who plays on the left wing is an enterprising mid-fielder and represented the Les Bleus in 80 international matches. At club level, Malouda won 4 consecutive Ligue 1 titles with Lyon from 2003-04 to 2006-07. He represented Chelsea in the English Premier League in close to 150 matches, winning the title in 2009-10 and also won the UEFA Champions League in 2011-12.
LUCIO (FC Goa)
At 6 feet, 2 inches, Lucio is an imposing figure in the defence of any team and FC Goa would do well to make the best use of the 38-year old Brazilian’s vast experience. Lucio, who has been with the Goa outfit since 2015, is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the world since the turn of the century. The crowning glory of Lucio’s international career came in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, as he was part of the team that won Brazil’s record extending 5th World Cup title. He also won two Confederations Cup titles with the national team in 2005 and 2009. At the club level, Lucio had most of his success playing for German giants Bayern Munich where he won 3 Bundesliga titles. He also went on to play for Italy’s Inter Milan where he won the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.
JOHN ARNE RIISE (Chennaiyin FC)
John Arne Riise was an inspirational figure in the Liverpool FC defence throughout the first decade of the 21st century and he will be the man providing the shield in the backline for defending champions Chennaiyin FC. A former Norwegian international, Riise rose to glory with the highly promising Liverpool team, where he spent 8 years of his career. Riise’s biggest achievement was winning the UEFA Champions League in the 2004-05 season.
HELDER POSTIGA (Atletico de Kolkata)
Portuguese striker Helder Postiga made a grand debut for holders Atletico de Kolkata last season, scoring twice in their opening match against Chennaiyin FC. But the dream debut turned sour when he had to retire from the match after picking up an injury, which eventually ruled him out for the rest of the season. Postiga though is back again and along with the impressive Canadian Iain Hume, will look to take the Kolkata outfit all the way. Postiga was one of the poster boys of Portuguese football before the ascent of Cristiano Ronaldo, netting 27 goals for the national team in over 70 international matches. Postiga was also part of the Portuguese squad in the 2004 European Championships when the team lost in the final to Greece at home. A journeyman at the club level, Postiga’s major success came with top Portuguese club FC Porto.
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