In what comes as great news for fans of Indian football, former Manchester United and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan officially joined Indian Super League side Mumbai City FC for the 2016/17 ISL season.
The Indian Super League has had some high profile players play in India before with legends like Robert Pires, Del Piero and Elano all having played in India before. The 37-year-old was also wanted by A-league side Brisbane Roar, but Mumbai City FC were able to convince the 2010 World Cup Golden Ball winner to sign a 3-month contract.
Forlan joins as the marquee player of the side and fans of Mumbai City FC will be hoping that the Uruguayan international enjoys a much more fruitful time than the previous Mumbai City FC marquee player – Nicolas Anelka.
The franchise is co-owned by Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor and it is undoubtedly a huge step in the right direction for Indian football. Forlan has a very impressive CV having represented Independiente, Manchester United, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan, Internacional, Cerezo Osaka and Penarol.
Football might be gaining popularity in India but there are still underlying and visible problems that might blur the big picture clubs are trying to look at. The first one is obviously the standard of the sport. Grassroots is a major part of development in any sport and India lacks the right training that has to be applied at a young stage in order to ensure a smooth transition to international football.
However, with the arrival of proven stars like Forlan to India, many kids hopefully will now be inspired to take up the beautiful game.
ALSO READArticle Continues below
Although at 37, Forlan has lost a bit of pace, there is no denying the fact that he still is a top quality player capable of making a difference.The Uruguayan is a strong, creative and versatile forward capable of playing anywhere across the front line and he is also blessed with excellent vision and passing skills.
Fans of Mumbai City FC will be salivating over the prospect of India’s best striker Sunil Chettri and Forlan linking up together and it will be truly interesting to see how the veteran Uruguayan forward adjusts to the hectic demand of playing every 3-4 days in the ISL.