France 1998 World Cup-winning striker David Trezeguet will turn out for FC Pune City as their marquee player in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League (ISL), the team announced at a press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The Frenchman, who famously scored the Golden Goal in the Euro 2000 final against Italy, will join the likes of Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Joan Capdevila and Mikael Silvestre in the league that kicks off in October.
David Trezeguet. File Pic/AFP
The 36-year-old spent last season on loan at Argentine club Newell's Old Boys from his boyhood club River Plate, where he scored seven goals in 24 appearances.
Gaurav Modwel, CEO of the Pune franchise, told reporters, "David is the third highest French goalscorer behind Thierry Henry and Michel Platini (34 goals in 71 appearances). He will be our team's spearhead in the ISL and we expect him to lead us to the title."
While Modwel did not reveal the financial specifications of the deal, he informed that Trezeguet had signed a one-year deal just like the other international players. According to reports, the marquee players in ISL are reportedly being paid USD 7,50,000 (approximately Rs 4 crore) — a figure which pales in comparison to Trezeguet's reported annual earnings of Rs 14.65 crores.
Trezeguet becomes Pune's fifth overseas player after centre-back Bruno Cirillo, goalkeeper Emanuele Belardi, defender Daniele Magliocchetti and midfielder Davide Colomba.
According to the ISL's stipulations, franchises must pick five players in the international players' draft while they can sign up to seven foreign players on their own.
Modwel said Trezeguet would arrive in September and the Pune franchise, co-owned by Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Bollywood actor Salman Khan, would take the entire team to Florence for a week-long training session.
Number of goals Trezeguet scored for French side AS Monaco in his five seasons at the club
Number of goals he scored for Italian giants Juventus in his 11 seasons at the club
Number of goals the striker scored for Argentina's River Plate in two seasons
Number of goals he netted for Newell's Old Boys last season
Number of goals Trezeguet has scored for France, making him the third highest goalscorer for the country behind Thierry Henry and Michel Platini