FC Goa – Lucio
FC Goa has retained Brazilian defensive rock Lucio as their marquee player for ISL 2016. Yet another UEFA Champions League winner at this season’s ISL, Lucio is a tall, strong leader at the centre of defense, a centre back any manager would love to have. Among the finest of his generation, he is a stereotypical complete defender – good positional awareness, a shrewd tactical reader of the game, excellent aerial ability, influential in defensive and offensive set pieces, capable of initiating attacks. His enormous talent and experience was on show in ISL 2015 as FC Goa fell only in the final, and the Brazilian would be hoping to drive his club one step further this time around.
Delhi Dynamos – Florent Malouda
36 year old French winger Florent Malouda played ten games for Delhi Dynamos in ISL 2015, and they’ve retained him as their marquee player for ISL 2016. Malouda’s had a star studded career – he’s won the UEFA Champions League and English Premier League with Chelsea, reached the 2006 FIFA World Cup final with France (9 goals in 80 internationals for them) and won seven trophies in just three years with Lyon. His talent and vision on the ball has seen him play as an attacking midfielder his entire career, either on the left or the centre. With Italian defensive legend Gianluca Zambrotta becoming manager, there’s no doubt he can be the driving force for a Delhi Dynamos that would be looking to improve on their playoff semi-final spot last season.
Mumbai City FC – Diego Forlan
Does Mumbai City’s Diego Forlan need any introduction? The forward has become a household name in homeland Uruguay, and is a much loved figure, having played at huge clubs like Manchester United, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid. He’s been a wonderful servant for the Uruguay national team, carrying them to the 2006 FIFA World Cup semi-finals and winning the Golden Ball in the process. His technical acumen and vision on the ball as a versatile forward, added to his leadership skills could be a real boon for Mumbai City, who would be looking to be finish higher than the seventh and sixth places they’ve managed so far.
(to be continued)
(Article written by Akarsh, Football content Analyst. Follow him @akarshvenkat )