Having finished the inaugural edition of the franchise-based Indian Super League (ISL) in the sixth spot with their forwards scoring just 12 goals from 14 matches, FC Pune City have sought a remedy for their woes up-front by adding former Turkey forward Tuncay Sanli to their squad, just days after landing Romanian striker Adrian Mutu.
Sanli, Turkey's second-highest scorer of all time, has played for English Premier League clubs like Middlesbrough, Stoke City and Bolton Wanderers in the past. "I am positive we (Pune) can only get better. I'm very fortunate to be part of the league. I'm looking forward to an exciting season ahead. I'll be the first player from Turkey to play in the ISL. I like being a footballing pioneer from my country," Sanli told mid-day yesterday.
The 33-year-old is particularly looking forward to playing against FC Goa, who are coached by Zico, in the upcoming second edition of the ISL. The Brazilian legend was his manager at Fenerbahce in 2006-07, the year the club went on to be Turkish league champions and also won the Super Cup thereafter. The very next season however, Sanli left Fenerbahce for Middlesbrough (in 2007), and Zico reportedly said that the forward was "the one giving us soul and hope".
"I shared a very strong bond with Zico at Fenerbahce, when we won the Turkish Super League and also the Turkish Super Cup in 2007. Zico is a very special guy. He earned a lot of respect from fans, who called him 'King Arthur'. I hope Zico likes me even if I score against his side," Sanli signed off.