ISL: Onus on Mumbai City FC to triple celebration of city fans
Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Mumbai City FC will look to triple the joy of the city's sports lovers by winning the 2015 tournament after Mumbai Indians claimed the IPL and U Mumba was victorious in the Pro-Kabaddi league
Indian Super League (ISL) franchise Mumbai City FC will look to triple the joy of the city's sports lovers by winning the 2015 tournament after Mumbai Indians claimed the Indian Premier League and U Mumba was victorious in the Pro-Kabaddi league earlier in the year.
It has been more than a decade that Mumbai football has thrown up fruitful results and with the star-studded players in the Mumbai City FC squad, one can expect the dream to come true surely this time around.
The team did disappoint one and all by their performance in the ISL inaugural season, finishing second from bottom and failing to qualify for the semi-finals.
But with the help of Indian players auction and pre-season camp in Dubai the side looks a motivated and on the verge of doing what was left undone in 2014.
Earlier in the year, Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians clinched the IPL crown in Kolkata for the second time and it was followed by an ever brighter and praiseworthy performance by Anoop Kumar-led U Mumba team which won the much hyped Pro-Kabaddi season 2.
So along with a huge responsibility, comes an added pressure on the footballers to make the city proud by winning ISL crown and give their fans an opportunity to celebrate the treble win in a calendar year.
The man at the centre, or rather steering, this challenge is French football great Nicolas Anelka himself.
A man of few words, Anelka is used to letting his boots do the talking but in his new role as marquee player-cum-manager he will have to go beyond his 90-minute duty on the field to make the city champions.
"We are in good shape and have a strong squad. We had a good pre-season in Dubai which was a much needed one. I am sure if we give our 100 percent we will emerge winners," Anelka said.
The Chelsea great believes managing the side and playing at the same time is not at all easy but he has taken it up as a challenge to make the city champions and fans thrilled.
"Managing the side and playing is not at all easy. If I am playing, I will give my best. If I am at the bench I will do my best as a manager. Sometimes I will play and sometimes I will not play. But this way I will help take my team forward to ultimate winners," the marquee player-manager said.
Mumbai face a tough challenge in the first match when they will face rivals FC Pune City in a derby clash on October 5.