Rating every former Manchester United and Liverpool star in the ISL
The Indian Super League (ISL) is widely considered to have changed the face of Indian football after its inception in 2014.
Now, three years down the line, the ISL is set to grow with new teams and newer stipulations. What used to be a three-month-long tourney will now stand alongside proper football leagues of the world as the tournament duration is set to be extended to five months.
As such, there will be lesser marquee signings – big name players, who are probably spent, at the fag end of their careers – in the ISL this season. Players like David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero, who did nothing more than being lethargic passengers on the pitch and fan magnets off it, will be things of the past.
That is if the ISL truly intends to follow its stated blueprint and move Indian football forward.
Liverpool fans cheering Atletico de Kolkata on because of Luis Garcia or Manchester United fans taking Mumbai City’s side because of Diego Forlan will soon be history, although that connection between the ISL and big English clubs is a reason why the cash-rich league has been so popular among Indian fans at first place.
Without further ado, we look at how former Manchester United and Liverpool stars fared in the past three seasons of the ISL, rating them subjectively and objectively on a scale of one to five.
Eric Djemba-Djemba – 2.5/5
Cameroonian midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba was an unknown commodity when he was signed by Manchester United in 2003. An FA Cup and Community Shield winner with the Red Devils, he struggled to feature prominently for United and was sold off after one and a half years at the club.
Djemba-Djemba signed for Chennaiyin FC in the first season of the ISL. Known for his aggressive style, he played nine games for the club. His was an uninspiring stint in Indian climes. He currently plays for Swiss fifth division club FC Vallorbe-Ballaigues.
Jermaine Pennant – 2.5/5
English winger Jermaine Pennant spent two and a half years at Liverpool. He won a Community Shield during his time at Merseyside and also helped the Reds win the 2007 Champions League.
Pennant joined ISL in the inaugural season when he signed for FC Pune CIty. He made seven appearances for the club before returning to England. He currently plays for Bury in League One. The well-travelled Pennant couldn't be said to have made the most of his Indian sojourn.